Cash For Caulkers Program To Create Energy Efficient Homes

You might be seeing more of Department Energy Secretary Steven Chu in the near future as he begins to discuss the new Home Star legislative proposal currently under consideration by the White House. It is a proposed federal program that would provide direct incentives to American homeowners who invest in improving the energy efficiency of their homes.

The basic structure of the Home Star program is designed to create $6 billion in tax incentives for homeowners who improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The program will also drive new private investment into the hard hit construction and manufacturing sectors, while saving consumers money on their energy bills. According to the short summary of the program by the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Home Star will generate an estimated three million home retrofits and tens of thousands of jobs.

There are a number ways the American people will benefit directly from this program including three levels of participation.

The Silver Star rebates will be available to consumers in amounts between $1,000 and $1,500 for each retrofit and up to $3,000 for a total project. Already nicknamed “Cash for Caulkers”, eligible measures under Home Star include insulation, duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, and doors. Rebates will be targeted to the most energy efficient categories of upgrades, focusing on products primarily made in the United States.

There is also a $3,000 Gold Star rebate that will be available to Americans interested in a whole home retrofit and a comprehensive energy audit with the goal of energy savings higher than 20%. The Gold Star rebate program would build on existing whole home retrofit programs, such as EPA’s Home Performance with Energy Star program and DOE’s building programs.

There may also be direct rebates at the point of sale. Small independent building material dealers such as your local hardware store, large national home improvement chains such as Lowe’s or Home Depot, merchants across the country, energy efficiency installation professionals and utility energy efficiency programs (including rural utilities) can provide the rebates directly to the consumers and be reimbursed by the federal government.
If you would like to show your support for this program or contact your congressman visit

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