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Use Conservation to build the Economy

The money saved by conservation can help the environment and greatly expand the economy.

Photo of Warren Kapsner
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We can use $2000.00 saved from our heating and cooling bills per year to build a fund of money to grow the economy and help the environment.

Explain your idea

The idea is to raise the gas tax by 10 cents per gallon. This isn’t free and not without some hardship. The news media and politicians repeatedly talk about shared sacrifice. This idea would cause the least amount of sacrifice and still solve our crisis. The additional $50 to $100 per year would be a problem for some people but they can opt out of paying the additional cost by driving 10 to 15 miles per hour slower. The savings would be more than 10 cents per gallon. If we raise gasoline taxes by 10 cents per gallon, we in Minnesota will raise 300 million dollars per year. The first year the state could loan that money to homeowners, interest free, to retrofit and install geothermal heating and air conditioning in 10,000 to 15,000 homes at a cost of 15-30 thousand dollars per home. You will heat and cool your home for substantially less than you are now paying. This technology has been around for years and it works. The homeowner would pay back the loan with the $2000 to $ 3000 saved from utility bills. Money is now coming back into the program so the second year we could convert 12,000 to 20,000 homes.

Who Benefits?

The best aspect of this is that everyone benefits, financially and the environment also benefits.

How is your idea unique?

All through human history we have experienced financial breakthroughs to deal with fundamental problems. The invention of money, credit and the creation of the stock exchange were financial innovations that solved problems by providing the connection of those with money to those with moneymaking ideas. This idea solves an environmental problem, but most importantly it shows a financial innovation that can be used in many areas.

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Tell us more about you

I own a small printing company in Minneapolis, and have been managing it for over 30 years. I also spend time investing in the stock market and other markets. Over the years some things have stood out that show there is change coming in the future in certain industries or businesses. Smart investing gets in ahead of this. One area that I found interesting years ago was the growth of the Chinese economy. The Government partners with the private sector and can direct growth is areas they see as vital. We find that type of partnership unacceptable in this country but it is an area that should be looked into. My idea is one way that we could explore this type of partnership.

Attachments (1)

enrgy letter short version combined 4-3-17.doc

This shows how the money saved from our heating and cooling bills can grow the economy.

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Warren!

Thank you for sharing your idea. Am I right in thinking this would require policy changes at the state level?

Is there any chance you could find an image to go along with your post? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.