At the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show, General Electric unveiled its “Smart Home,” a system that’s been under development in response to the drastic increase in home and business energy consumption caused by the number of gadgets and small electronic appliances in mainstream use today. We’re talking about everything from televisions and laptops to the plethora of charging devices required to juice up our gadgets on a daily basis, which now account for 41% of total energy use in the home and 26% of energy use in the workplace.
ENERGY STAR is the industry standard and, government-backed symbol for energy efficient consumer products and practices. The label was established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to guide the homeowner towards a more efficient home.
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.
President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 which extends the federal tax credit for energy efficiency into 2011 with some modifications. If you received over $500 in energy efficiency tax credits from 2006 – 2010, you are not eligible for more. The lifetime limit is $500.