Senate Hearing Puts HOME STAR’s Job-Creating Potential in the National Spotlight | Alliance to Save Energy

Senate Hearing Puts HOME STAR’s Job-Creating Potential in the National Spotlight

Release Date: Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010, Washington, D.C. – The HOME STAR Coalition today applauded Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Ranking Member Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and members of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for holding a hearing on the need for bi-partisan, job-creating legislation such as the proposed HOME STAR legislation.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to testify before the Senate to voice support for the HOME STAR program on behalf of the entire HOME STAR Coalition. HOME STAR is a win-win-win as it will put our nation’s skilled construction force back to work, benefit homeowners through comfort and energy efficient improvements to their existing homes, and result in long term energy efficiency gains. On behalf of the entire HOME STAR Coalition, I urge Congress to act quickly to commence this program,” said Well Home President Larry Laseter in his remarks before the Senate Committee.

HOME STAR is a market-driven, low-bureaucracy program that would create jobs fast by scaling the existing home energy efficiency improvement industry. HOME STAR would use incentives to spur more Americans to start making their homes more energy efficient. It would establish a $6 billion rebate program to encourage immediate investment in energy-efficient appliances, building mechanical systems and insulation, and whole-home energy efficiency retrofits. Consumers nationwide would embrace HOME STAR because it will be simple, accessible and help them save money.

“We believe the HOME STAR program will deliver both economic and environmental benefits,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company. “Economically, it will stimulate the construction sector, among the hardest hit in the recession, while also giving relief to homeowners, who count energy as their largest cost after their mortgage. HOME STAR has the additional benefit of offering immediate consumer relief through direct rebates rather than tax credits to be accrued in a distant future.”

“HOME STAR is an essential step to help Americans save on their energy bills while spurring the creation of good jobs and new industries that drive economic recovery and help our country achieve energy independence,” said Chris Chafe, Executive Director of Change to Win.

HOME STAR would help to kick-start the comeback of our country’s hard-hit construction industry. It’s estimated the legislation would create 168,000 new jobs in construction and related industries over the next two years. This would have a big impact because one out of four construction workers is currently out of a job. President Obama highlighted HOME STAR’s ability to create jobs for construction workers and contractors during a speech on March 2 while visiting Savannah Technical College in Georgia.

“HOME STAR is the right investment for the country at the right time. Energy efficiency is not a partisan issue, as it helps move us toward greater energy independence and enhances our national security. This program is targeted at the largest marketplace in the country, existing homes, and will be create jobs in a new industry that will thrive for decades,” said Tracy Price, CEO of The Linc Group.

The HOME STAR Coalition represents over 500 construction contractors, building products and mechanical manufacturers, retail sales businesses, environmental and energy efficiency groups and labor advocates from all 50 states who want to see the job creation and energy savings benefits of federal HOME STAR legislation realized.

For more information about HOME STAR and the HOME STAR Coalition, please visit www.homestarcoalition.org.

Additional Quotes in Support of HOME STAR from Some of the Coalition’s Diverse Members

“HOME STAR can have a positive effect on the sale and installation of highly efficient air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, water heaters and boilers. Appropriate incentives for the purchase of these products can help create desperately needed manufacturing jobs and save a considerable amount of energy,” said Stephen R. Yurek, President and CEO of The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI).

“When Americans invest in energy efficiency in their homes, they hire contractors who buy from retailers, who buy from manufacturers. HOME STAR opens up a wealth of opportunities with wide-ranging ripple effects,” said Kateri Callahan, President of the Alliance to Save Energy.

“America’s homeowners don’t know where to turn for a solution to the performance problems they face in their aging homes. HOME STAR sets a bar for preparing and credentialing contractors to meet rigorous national standards in the work they perform for these homeowners,” said Larry Zarker, CEO, Building Performance Institute, Inc.

“We currently have the technology, the know-how and a workforce that is ready to retrofit our homes to make them more efficient. HOME STAR will give consumers the incentives they need in order to retrofit their homes, which will immediately reduce global warming pollution, put Americans to work, and save families money in energy costs,” said Anna Aurilio, Washington, D.C. Office Director of Environment America.

“HOME STAR is a smart, common-sense solution to America's jobs crisis, which will build U.S. industry and save homeowners over $9 billion dollars on their energy bills,” said Bracken Hendricks, Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress. “With nearly 25 percent unemployment among construction workers, retrofitting America's homes for energy efficiency can immediately put people back to work, doing the work that most needs to be done.”

“HOME STAR is a critical initiative that needs our full support because it will put hard working Americans back to work in good manufacturing and construction jobs, help Americans save money on their energy bills and help them reduce their impact on the environment,” said Peter Dachowski, President and CEO of CertainTeed Corporation. “Making home energy efficiency improvements is one of the easiest, most cost-effective, and environmentally friendly things a homeowner can do.”

“Nothing could be more American than passing this critical piece of legislation. HOME STAR equals jobs in the USA, said Stephen Cowell, Chairman and CEO of Conservation Services Group. “Jobs that can’t be outsourced to other countries. Jobs for construction workers, manufacturers, truckers, retailers and others hardest hit by unemployment. Passing HOME STAR will get many of these people back on their feet, helping not only themselves and their families, but helping our entire country.”

“New jobs are desperately needed in America and HOME STAR will provide them by accelerating the growth of an industry focused on making homes use less energy. HOME STAR is based on established quality assurance standards so homeowners can be confident they are getting quality improvements installed and they will start saving money on their utility bills immediately,” said Brett Knox, President of GreenHomes America.

“Increasing home energy efficiency impacts our country positively in multiple ways,” said Mike Lawrence, Johns Manville Vice President and General Manager for the Insulation Systems business. “A national focus on home energy efficiency will create good-paying jobs in manufacturing, distribution, retail and in the installation and service industries. What’s more, energy efficiency also increases the health and comfort of homeowners and makes home ownership more affordable.”

“HOMESTAR will generate thousands of real jobs immediately and permanently reduce the utility bills of millions of homeowners,” said Mark Andrews, Chairman of Knauf Insulation North America. “Our plants across America and our contracting partners are ready and able to ramp up quickly to deliver home energy efficiency improvements. The time for this bill is now. It’s time to put Americans back to work, and it’s time to save energy.”

Philip Giudice, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and the Chair of the National Association of State Energy Officials, who testified in support of HOME STAR, stated, “The HOME STAR proposal is a great way to build on the critical priority of reducing energy waste in homes across the country.”