The Homestar Act of 2010, playfully dubbed, “cash for caulkers,” is President Obama’s program of incentives for homeowners who make energy efficient improvements to their homes. This two-year federal program is intended to save the middle-class families hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs, reduce the dependence on oil and support the energy efficiency industry.
To begin, the homeowner contracts with a Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst Certified Professional or a Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) qualified rater (or an approved equivalent) for an energy audit who then recommends improvements that are specific to the needs of the homeowner. The improvements will be completed by contractors certified to perform energy efficient retrofits. The last step is for a BPI-certified professional or RESNET qualified rater to conduct another energy audit to make certain the improvements are done correctly and for the homeowner to be eligible for the energy saving incentives.
In the State of the Union address last spring, the President outlined details for the Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program. While it is still a draft, if passed, the policy would include a number of items to benefit American homeowners.
There are two main types of rebates available to consumers: Silver Star and Gold Star. Silver Star rebates are for those looking for simple home updates to things such as insulation, duct sealing, HVAC units, water heaters, and more. With various combinations of rebates, consumers will be able to receive up to $3000 maximum per home.
The Gold Star rebates are meant for consumers who are interested in a more comprehensive overhaul. The goal here is to achieve 20% energy savings through energy efficiency retrofits, with rebates up to $3000.
The plan for Homestar Energy Efficiency in Arizona and across the country is meant to create thousands of jobs, reduce the overall use of energy, and save Americans money on energy costs, while increasing the focus on U.S. – made products. The program is meant to focus on products made primarily in the U.S. in order to increase the benefits to Americans.