Posts Tagged ‘cash for caulkers’
By Sarah MaxJuly 6, 2010: 8:43 AM ET
(Money Magazine) — 1. Federal appliance rebates are going fast …
The government’s Cash for Appliances program, which lets you score rebates for about $50 to $500 swapping energy guzzling appliances for more efficient models, has gotten lots of attention.
But don’t count your greenbacks just yet. The incentives, which are administered through the states, are typically doled out on a first-come, first-served basis, and in many locales the money is already gone. Florida’s program, for example, closed just 36 hours after it opened. But some states, such as Michigan, still had plenty of cash in their coffers at the end of May, and other initiatives didn’t launch until June. To check the status of the program in your state, go to energysavers.gov/financial.
2. … But most states offer their own programs too
Even if you can no longer qualify for a Cash for Appliances rebate, you may still be able to get cash back from the more than 600 programs run by utilities and over 100 state programs that offer incentives for boosting your home’s energy efficiency, says Justin Barnes, policy analyst with the North Carolina Solar Center. In Oregon, for example, you can get a $75 rebate on an Energy Star washer, and $30 for recycling an old fridge. See dsireusa.org for info on your area.
3. And you may have two more chances to get federal funds
Through the end of 2010, you can claim a $1,500 federal tax credit for up to 30% of the cost of many energy-related improvements.
There’s also the so-called Cash for Caulkers bill, which was passed by the House in May and could soon become law. It would give homeowners hefty rebates on a variety of energy saving projects.
Even if you take the tax credit this year, you may still qualify for a Cash for Caulkers rebate, says Ronnie Kweller, a spokesperson for the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit group.
4. Before you grab a rebate, do the math
Getting cash back might help you justify the purchase of, say, that snazzy new stainless-steel fridge you’ve been eyeing. But other projects may give you greater savings. “If your home has bad insulation, a super efficient heating system won’t do much,” says Mark Cannella, partner with Pro Energy Consultants, an energy auditing firm.
Not sure where your money is best spent? A comprehensive home energy audit, which will pinpoint your leaks, runs about $400. But some states or utilities conduct basic audits for free or will reimburse some of that cost.
5. Don’t forget that small projects can still pay big
There are plenty of ways to save energy without spending a lot. Every degree you go up or down on your thermostat will knock 2% off your annual heating and cooling costs; replacing your five most frequently used bulbs with compact fluorescents can lop $70 a year off your energy bill, says Lizzie Rubado, a senior project manager with Energy Trust of Oregon.
Finally, ditching that old fridge you’ve relegated to the garage for storing extra drinks will save about $200 or more a year. You may find you can justify an appliance upgrade after all — rebate or not.
by Houston Neal
To date, the greatest barrier to widespread adoption of “green” retrofits has been the cost. Homeowners, landlords and building owners all want proof that their investment will return a high yield in the future. “Cash for caulkers” will hopefully be the impetus for change.
The cash for caulkers bill, formally known as bill H.R. 5019 or the “Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010,” was recently passed in the House of Representatives. The bill still needs to get passed in the Senate, but supporters predict it will make it through before the end of the summer.
This is great news for homeowners and contractors alike. The bill provisions $6 billion for energy-efficient or “green” retrofits. It is expected to fund renovations for 3 million families, create 168,000 new jobs and save consumers $9.2 billion on energy bills over the next 10 years.
But in order to cash in on upcoming rebates, homeowners and contractors will need to do their homework. There are 13 types of retrofits eligible for funding. Each retrofit has unique eligibility requirements and set rebate amounts. Software Advice, a website that presents reviews of HVAC estimating software, made it very easy to wade through the legislation. To view a list of the eligible retrofits, along with their requirements and rebate amounts, visit:
» posted on Friday, May 14th, 2010 at 4:45 pm by Woody Wilson viewed 170 times
Updated: Friday, 14 May 2010, 7:29 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 14 May 2010, 7:25 AM EDT
By: Chris Velardi
Seymour, Conn. (WTNH) – Saving money is one reason a lot of people are calling on the experts to check out the energy efficiency of their homes. A couple of Connecticut businessmen are trying to make identifying the problems in your home a little easier.
Tom Casey, a life-long ‘doer’, is becoming a ‘teacher’, leading a class about the ins-and-outs of home energy efficiency. “Fuel costs are rising, budgets are tight, economy’s tight, everyone’s looking for ways to conserve,” Casey said. “They’re spending more time at home so comfort and safety is even more important.”
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That’s why Casey calls this a “win-win.” He and Larry Janesky launched a business called Dr. Energy Saver . It’s based in Seymour, Connecticut, and they’re franchising it around the country. This is the first week-long training session for franchisees.
“What we do is we go out and do a complete, comprehensive home energy audit,” Janesky said. “We don’t just look at one or two things. We look at 10 different things at how a house is using, losing and wasting energy.”
The guys cleaned up an old machine shop and turned it into a real hands-on training center. The idea here is to give the students experience with every piece of equipment they may find in a home. They even built a home inside the warehouse.
The home audits — or ‘house visits’ by Dr. Energy Saver — are part of a program run by the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and will cost you $75. The work to fix whatever’s wrong will cost you, too, but there are low-interest loans, rebates and other incentives available from both the state and federal governments to makes these kinds of upgrades.
Casey says it’s money you should consider an investment. “Everything we do pays for itself, plus it makes the house more valuable, increases the comfort of the house and lots of time even improves the safety of a house itself too,” he said.
You may have also heard about the Cash for Caulkers Home Star rebate program, which has passed the house. It’s a $6 billion bill offering rebates for making your house more energy-efficient.
By PHIL MULKINS World Action Line Editor
Published: 5/6/2010 2:22 AM
Last Modified: 5/6/2010 6:39 AM
Dear Action Line: We plan to weatherize a home we bought recently but heard there’s a new federal program — “Cash for Caulkers” — like the credits for buying energy-efficient appliances but for energy efficiency systems in homes. What about it? — W.H., Tulsa.
Homestar: On March 2, President Barack Obama announced legislation that would create the Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program — aka “Cash for Caulkers.” It hasn’t been passed by Congress yet, but the $6 billion program could create 168,000 jobs in the residential energy efficiency retrofit industry by providing incentives to encourage homeowners to invest in energy saving home improvements. See the White House fact sheet, “Homestar energy efficiency retrofit program” at tulsaworld.com/Homestar .
Rebates directly to consumers: As with Cash for Clunkers, consumers would be eligible for direct Homestar rebates at the point of sale for many energy-saving investments. An array of vendors — small independent building material dealers, large national home improvement chains, energy efficiency installation professionals and utility energy efficiency programs (including rural utilities) — would market the rebates, provide them directly to consumers and be reimbursed by the federal government.
$1,500 Silver Star Rebates: Consumers interested in simple upgrades to their homes — insulation, duct sealing, energy-saving water heaters and air conditioning units, windows, roofing and doors — would be eligible for 50 percent rebates of up to $1,500. Under Silver Star, a combination of upgrade rebates up to $3,000 per home would be for the most energy efficient categories — products made primarily in the United States and installed by certified contractors.
$3,000 Gold Star Rebates: Consumers interested in more comprehensive energy retrofits would be eligible for $3,000 rebates for whole-home energy audits and
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resulting retrofits designed to bring at least a 20 percent energy savings. Additional rebate amounts would be available for energy savings exceeding 20 percent. Gold Star would continue whole home retrofit programs such as EPA’s Home Performance with Energy Star program.
Oversight for quality installations: Contractors would have to be certified to perform energy efficiency installation. Independent quality assurance providers would conduct field audits after work is completed to ensure proper installation. States would oversee implementation of quality assurance to ensure that programs move the industry toward effective energy retrofit practices.
Financing: Homestar would support state and local governments in providing financing to homeowners interested in making energy efficiency investments. Homestar is intended to create tens of thousands of jobs and substantially reduce national energy consumption. Participating homeowners could expect a $200 to $500 annual savings in energy costs, while improving the comfort and value of their homes. Also see Homestar Coalition tulsaworld.com/HomestarCoalition