House Subcommittee OKs Home Star Energy Retrofit Bill
On March 24, the House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment, chaired by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), approved draft legislation providing rebates to consumers for energy efficiency upgrades to existing homes.
The proposal, called the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, provides for a two-tiered rebate program that covers installing more insulation in walls and attics, air sealing, replacing windows and adding more efficient appliances to homes.
Contractors working on the projects would be subject to certification and/or quality assurance oversight, as prescribed in the draft, and home owners could potentially take advantage of special financing mechanisms to help cover upfront costs.
The measure also provides a higher-level rebate for consumers choosing a “whole-house” approach, which includes verification through before-and-after energy performance ratings.
During the markup, amendments were added to the draft measure to include rebates for geothermal heat pumps and electric tankless water heaters and to ensure that contractors comply with federal, state and local safety requirements. The funding for the measure is authorized at $6 billion, which mirrors the amount proposed in the Senate companion bill.
NAHB is continuing to work with the committee in hopes of including the Home Builders Institute (HBI) as a certified workforce program along with others listed by name in the bill.
For more information, e-mail Elizabeth Odina at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8570.