Alliance Commends House Committee 'OK' That Moves Home Star Program for Energy Efficiency Improvements Closer to Enactment | Alliance to Save Energy

Alliance Commends House Committee 'OK' That Moves Home Star Program for Energy Efficiency Improvements Closer to Enactment

Release Date: Thursday, April 15, 2010

Washington, D.C., April 15, 2010 – The Alliance to Save Energy applauded the House Energy and Commerce Committee's passage today of the Home Star Energy Retrofits Act, a bill that would provide on-the-spot rebates for homeowners who make energy efficiency home improvements. Importantly, the Alliance said, the program would not only ease the up-front costs for these money-saving home improvements, it also would create jobs to lift the flagging construction industry.

The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Alliance honorary vice-chair Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) and Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.). The committee approved the bill by a vote of 30-17.

“The Alliance hails the committee's approval of a bipartisan bill that is not only a win for thousands of construction workers struggling to make a livelihood but also for millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan.

“Despite recent improvements in employment for most sectors of the economy, the construction industry still remains at triple the overall unemployment rate,” Callahan noted. “At the same time, Americans are short on cash, and their energy costs are rising. By giving homeowners' the opportunity and financial support to lower their home energy bills with energy efficiency, Home Star would spur economic growth while easing the strain on their pocketbooks.”

Home Star would provide rebates to homeowners who retrofit their homes with energy efficient equipment and materials, including insulation, windows and heating and cooling equipment. The legislation would create two rebate programs, one for such specific improvements and one for whole-home energy-use reductions. The first category of rebates would be for up to $3,000 per home, the second for up to $8,000.

Callahan concluded, “By approving Home Star, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has highlighted the need to empower American consumers to take charge of their energy use and costs and to strengthen our fragile construction industry. We strongly urge the full House to act swiftly on the bill to move the nation towards a clean, more energy efficient and stable economy.”