Why Now’s the Time for the US to Invest in Critical Public Infrastructure

As legislators work towards developing economic recovery plans for the millions of unemployed Americans looking for work, there’s an opportunity to invest in critical facilities in our local communities.

This includes places like police and fire stations, hospitals, water treatment facilities, schools and military facilities that are often running on old systems that are inefficient, unreliable and costly to maintain.

Federal investment into modernizing these facilities to run more efficiently would provide hundreds of thousands of construction, engineering and manufacturing type jobs.

Much of the work could be funded through public and private partnerships such as energy savings performance contracts that utilize private companies to modernize these public facilities with improvements that guarantee energy costs savings down the line.

What would this investment into local infrastructure look like?

It could be a public hospital that upgrades its heating, cooling and ventilation systems with controls that optimize energy consumption and improve indoor air quality for patients and their caregivers.

It might be a comprehensive building upgrade of a fire station to improve the size and cost of energy consumption, water efficiency, and a reliable backup power in case of grid outages or cyberattacks.

It could look like retrofitting a federal center with high-efficiency heating and cooling systems and upgrading outdated lighting to LED bulbs and a lighting control system that results in a tremendous amount of savings.

Investment now will pay off in the future.

New technologies paired with efficient heating and cooling equipment, insulation, utility efficiency, appliances and other components will result in improved building operation and lower energy and water utility costs.

In the long run, investment into energy efficiency improvements and operational upgrades will save taxpayers money and support the environment. Improved indoor air quality, enhanced power system reliability and reduction of carbon emissions are other benefits we could experience.

Strong public investment now would help put people back to work and modernize facilities for the next generation to get the job done more efficiently and effectively in the future.

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