HOME STAR Program
Home Star energy retrofits will rapidly create clean energy jobs by providing homeowners with incentives to retrofit their homes to become more energy-efficient. The Home Star Energy Retrofits program will provide $6 billion in funding for fundamental energy efficiency home improvements. By relying on existing labor skills and distribution channels, the Home Star program would create new jobs and give a boost to the industry.
In March 2010, Senator Warner promoted the HOME STAR energy conservation initiative before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Here is what he said:
Two-tiered approach gives homeowners options when retrofitting their home
- Prescriptive option: Under the Silver Star program, rebates of $1,000 are offered for the installation of each eligible energy-saving measure such as new insulation and high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, up to maximum of $3,000 per home.
- Performance option: The Gold Star program provides performance-based grants: $3,000 for a 20 percent reduction in home energy consumption and $1,000 for each additional 5 percent of verified energy reduction as determined by a comparison of the energy consumption of the home before and after the retrofit.
Participation of Retailers and Contractors
- With the participation of contractors and retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, Home Star works through existing distribution channels to quickly provide customers rebates. Verification
- A Home Efficiency Quality Assurance program works with states to ensure that energy savings result from the installation of these measures. In addition, a percentage of the retrofits performed under Home Star will be subject to third party verification.
- The Home Star Energy Retrofits program would cost $6 billion for FY2010.
CREATING CLEAN ENERGY JOBS
Energy retrofits will rapidly put people to work.
- Home retrofitting is a process that requires similar skills to residential and commercial construction. Home Star relies on this existing labor capacity and will feature worker training programs to develop new skills to create long-term employment opportunities.
- With an unemployment rate that has risen to over 20 percent, the construction industry has been hard hit during these challenging economic times. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 1.6 million construction jobs have been lost since 2006.
CURBING CARBON EMISSIONS
Affordable carbon reductions
- Pew estimates that residential buildings account for 21% of the overall U.S. carbon emissions. Cost-effective retrofits can reduce household energy consumption by 10 to 40% for most homes and reduce domestic carbon output significantly in the near future.
Green jobs and energy savings
Senator Warner joined a bipartisan group of senators (Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME)) to introduce the HOMESTAR Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 on May 28.