U.S. House Passes Home Star Energy “Cash for Caulkers” Bill

The Barack Obama-backed $6 billion Home Star Energy Retrofit Act will give rebates to owners who make their home more energy efficient. The initiative, also known as “Cash for Caulkers” – a takeoff of the popular Cash for Clunkers program – will create approximately 170,000 jobs in the recession wounded construction industry.

The bill, supported by the Obama administration, passed in the House with a 246 to 161 vote. The bill is awaiting consideration in the Senate, where it is expected to face amendments by Republicans.

To qualify for the rebate, homeowners’’ income is capped at $250,000. The two-year Home Star program is divided into two levels of rebates. The Silver Star rebate gives up to $1,500 for specific energy efficiency improvements, capped at $3,000 per home. The Gold Star rebate gives $3,000 for a more comprehensive retrofit if the renovations results in 20 percent energy savings. Homeowners can qualify for more Gold Star rebates up to $8,000 as they continue to make improvements that reduce energy use. The comprehensive construction jobs cannot be outsourced as more than 90 percent of energy efficiency technologies are manufactured in America, thus creating more jobs.

The Home Star program, like other recent federal programs such as Cash for Clunkers, is designed to create options for middle-class homeowners looking to make affordable energy-efficiency improvements. It is expected to help an estimated 3 million American homeowners.

Advanced Control Corporation is the provider of a number of energy-efficient, environmentally-sound solutions for building automation and energy management. Through automation systems such as lighting control and access control, homes can increase energy efficiency while saving money and resources.