After passing by 246-161 votes in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, the HOMESTAR Energy Retrofit Act (also called “Cash for Caulkers”) now heads to the Senate. If the Senate passes “Cash for Caulkers,” it would provide rebates of up to $1,500 per project for the installation of energy-saving products, including insulation, duct sealing, heat pumps, and other appliances.
The bill provides two options to consumers. The SILVER STAR prescriptive path gives homeowners between $1,000 and $1,500 for each measure installed in their home (with a cap of $3,000 per household). The GOLD STAR performance path gives homeowners the incentive to conduct a full energy audit and install technology that’s designed to provide a greater return on investment in energy savings. With this path, consumers would get $3,000 for modeled savings of 20%, plus $1,000 incentives for each additional 5% of modeled energy savings. The total rebate would up to $8,000 (not to exceed 50% of project costs).
Obviously, we’re in favor of the bill, because it means that products like Icynene Foam Insulation would be even more accessible and affordable to homeowners. But it also means that homeowners will save money while improving the energy efficiency of their homes. In addition to the environmental benefits, it would also provide jobs to several thousands of people. According to an article in the Salt Lake Tribune, the program would create over 150,000 jobs, mainly in the construction industry and save homeowners a combined $9.2 billion in energy consumption over the next ten years. An estimated 3 million homeowners would benefit from the program.
Read more about the “Cash for Caulkers” bill on the HOMESTAR Coalition website.
If you’re in favor of this bill (and we hope you are), please contact your local member of the Senate to express your support of “Cash for Caulkers.”
Flickr photo courtesy of acaaron816