Going green could save homeowners some green if the “Cash for Caulkers” program is put into action by Congress. The Home Star bill, which has been dubbed “Cash for Caulkers,” cleared another hurdle with its passage in the House on May 6th. The bill is now eligible to be put up for vote in the Senate.
As it stands, the Home Star legislation would provide eligible homeowners a variety of rebates. First, homeowners could receive up to a 50% rebate, a maximum of $3,000, for energy-saving home improvements installed by qualified contractors( examples: window & door replacement, insulation upgrades, heating & cooling system replacement). Homeowners who complete air-sealing and insulation improvements on their own would be eligible for rebates up 50%, capped at $250, on air-sealing and insulation products. In addition, homeowners who go through a comprehensive home audit, and reduce their energy consumption by 20%+, would be eligible for rebates up to a maximum of $8,000. To be eligible for “Cash for Caulkers,” homeowners would have to have an annual income less that $250,000.
As the legislation is currently written, the rebates would not be connected in any way the current $1,500 energy tax credit that runs through the end of 2010. The program would also have to be implemented with financing that does not increase the federal deficit.
It will be interesting to watch the progression of the “Cash for Caulker” program in the Senate. Savvy homeowners will be watching, with interest, for the details of the final version of the Home Star bill.