Alliance to Save Energy Says Home Star Helps Homeowners and Job Seekers
Washington, D.C., March 2, 2010 – The Alliance to Save Energy today praised President Obama for “calling out” the Home Star residential retrofits program as a lynchpin of the administration’s economic recovery program. The president spoke of the benefits of the Home Star program at Savannah Technical College in Savannah, Ga., where workers are being trained in new skills for energy retrofit projects.
“At a time when the construction trades in this country have been devastated by depression-level unemployment, the Home Star program will provide a quick infusion of new jobs into the economy and help to create a new residential retrofits industry in the United States,” said Brad Penney, director of government relations at the Alliance.
Penney continued: “The Home Star program will immediately provide twin benefits to the American economy. It will enable homeowners to immediately receive discounts on energy efficiency improvements in their homes, thereby providing energy savings that will in turn give homeowners more disposable income. At the same time, with unemployment in the construction trades industry currently north of 25 percent, and a 38 percent drop in residential construction jobs since the recession began, the Home Star program will immediately put construction trades workers back to work and provide the seed for a new residential retrofits industry,” observed Penney.
The Silver Star, or prescriptive component of Home Star, provides as much as $3,000 in immediate discounts (or up to 50 percent of total project costs – whichever is less) to homeowners who elect to make energy savings improvements from a menu of options including duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing and doors. Home Star also encourages whole-home retrofits through its “Gold Star” or performance-based component, which will enable homeowners to measure the energy footprint of their homes and qualify for discounts up to $8,000 per household (or up to 50 percent of project costs – whichever is less) if they implement improvements that achieve greater than 20 percent reduction in energy usage in the home.
The Alliance to Save Energy was one of the first organizations to endorse the Home Star program back in December, and the Alliance has urged senators to include Home Star as a cornerstone of the next “Jobs Bill” expected to be taken up in the Senate later in March.
“The Home Star program is a great example of ‘build it and they will come,’ because the immediate discounts for homeowners will serve as a powerful incentive for them to retrofit their homes and achieve lasting energy savings,” noted Penney. “Home Star will also mark a critical step in reversing depression-level unemployment in the construction trades and provide the catalyst for building a new industry based on home energy retrofits, employing thousands of workers who otherwise will remain unemployed.
“We will continue to work with our allies in pressing for early approval of a Jobs Bill containing Home Star,” concluded Penney.