Rosslyn, Va.-based National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), has joined a coalition of 80 contractor groups, unions, manufacturers, businesses, financial services companies, and energy-efficiency advocates to advance the adoption of Building STAR, a proposal to make over America's commercial and apartment building infrastructure with more energy-efficient technologies, creating thousands of jobs in the construction, manufacturing, and other high-skilled sectors on the economy.

"Building STAR will provide significant rebates to focus on commercial sectors hurt most by the current economic downturn, " says NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis. "By making our buildings more energy efficient, we reduce energy waste and operating costs as well as create good jobs, particularly among small businesses that would perform the vast majority of work."

Introduced March 4 as S. 3079, "Building STAR Energy Efficiency Rebate Act of 2010, " the bill is a package of rebates and financing incentives for building owners to upgrade their property's energy efficiency, including interior and exterior lighting, energy management, HVAC, motors, and drives. It is estimated that the prospective $6 billion in funding for the Building STAR program would spur $18 to $24 billion in total program spending, creating up to 200,000 jobs, particularly for the hard-hit construction industry, as well as manufacturing and other industries.

"Building STAR is the kind of performance-based incentive that attracts broad bipartisan support and delivers real results in the near term, " says Gaddis. "We urge Congress to include Building STAR in upcoming jobs legislation."