What we know, Bill speaks:
I already knew, from my own modest experience installing and paying for installation of insulation and other energy-saving upgrades in my house, that such work is highly labor-intensive — and so employs a lot of people per dollar spent. When we had our basement insulated, the material cost was perhaps $400; the total bill over $3000. Some of the difference was in equipment, but that was probably fairly modest. The big cost was clearly in paying two or three guys to make racket spraying goop in our basement for 3 or 4 days.
So it stands to figure that a good way to spend stimulus money is on energy-conservation measures on buildings. At Bill Clinton’s press meeting today, he laid out the numbers:
For every billion dollars you spend on a coal-fired power plant, it creates about 870 jobs. Every billion dollars you spent on solar power – depending on whether it’s photovoltaic cells or a solar thermal power plant, a big centralized location which you can only build in a few places – gives you between 1,850 and 2,000 jobs. Every billion dollars you spend on windmills, wind energy – if you manufacture the wind mills in the country where the windmills were put up, gives you 3,300 jobs. Every billion you spend on building retrofits, gives you 6,000 jobs.
Hat tip to Tapped.