Yesterday I talked about the energy efficiency tax credits for home improvements that homeowners can take advantage of through the end of 2010. They can use the tax credits upgrade their windows, heaters, insulation and other energy efficient products. The Obama administration is now trying to get another program passed to give rebates to homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. It is called the Homestar Program. (No, it isn't related to THIS Homestar)
Here's a video of the president explaining the bill:
Today, while touring a training facility at Savannah Technical College, the President outlined more details of a new “HOMESTAR” program that would help create jobs by encouraging American families to invest in energy saving home improvements. Consistent with the President’s call for a HOMESTAR program, the Senate Democratic leadership included a proposal of this kind as part of their Jobs Agenda released on February 4, 2010. The President looks forward to continuing to work with Members of Congress, business, environmental and labor leaders to enact a HOMESTAR program into law.
So the president wants to get people back to work and increase the energy efficiency of their homes while he's at it. How will the new rebate program for energy efficient home improvements work?
Energy Efficient Home Improvements Rebate
The bill has several goals, among them increasing energy savings, reducing dependence on foreign sources of energy and helping to easeAims of this bill include:
- Get contruction workers/etc back to work to help ease 25% unemployment.
- Boost demand for energy efficient products.
- Increase energy savings for families. (According to the White House consumers in the program are expected to see savings of “between $200 – $500 per year in energy costs”)
Retrofit Program Details
Details Of What You'll Get With The Homestar Program:
- Rebates delivered directly to consumers: Like the Cash for Clunkers program, consumers would be eligible for direct HOMESTAR rebates at the point of sale for a variety of energy-saving investments in their homes. Retailers are reimbursed by the government.
- $1,000 – $1,500 Silver Star Rebates: For simple upgrades consumers could be eligible for up to 50% rebates of $1,000 – $1,500. Things included in this are insulation, duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing and doors. Rebates are up to a maximum of $3,000 per home.
- $3000 Gold Star Rebates: More comprehensive energy retrofits would be eligible for a $3,000 rebate for a whole home energy audit and subsequent retrofit tailored to achieve a 20% energy savings in their homes.
- Support for financing: The program would include support to State and local governments to provide financing options for consumers seeking to make efficiency investments in their homes.
When Will Homestar Program Become Law?
On May 6th, 2010 the Homestar Program was passed by a vote of the House of Representatives. Next up will be a vote in the Senate. If that vote also passes it will most likely be signed into law by the President.
Remember, this program differs from the current home improvement tax credit that runs until 12/31/2010. This one is a 50% rebate, instead of a 30% tax credit. You could possibly come out ahead if you wait, and use this rebate instead!
Are you working in construction – and do you think this bill would help improve your work outlook? Looking to improve your home's energy efficiency? Will this bill give you the incentive you need to get those changes made? What do you think?