Posts Tagged ‘Homestar’
» posted on Saturday, May 8th, 2010 at 11:34 pm by Woody Wilson viewed 168 times
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