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$2 Billion Home Energy Rebate Program Introduced in Congress

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Yesterday, Representative David McKinley (WV) and Representative Peter Welch (VT) introduced bi-partisan legislation that would jumpstart and accelerate opportunities for energy upgrades in existing residences. The Home Owner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) Act seeks to reward homeowners for reduced energy consumption as a result of a qualified home energy efficiency retrofit. Homeowners who show a 20 percent energy savings will receive a $2,000 rebate. For every 5 percent in additional energy savings, they can receive another $1,000 – up to a total of $8,000 or 50 percent of the project’s cost.

Does this bill sounds familiar? It should. The HOMES Act repurposes a number of policy items included in Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support last Congress but was not able to make it through the Senate.

In a letter to Reps. McKinley and Welch, 40 organizations, including U.S. Green Building Council, commended the introduction of the bill:

"The HOMES Act will provide a much-needed incentive to homeowners to make energy efficient improvements to their homes. These home owners will save money on their utility bills while living in more comfortable homes. The HOMES Act also offers long-term benefits vital to America’s interests. It will create jobs, as demand for energy efficient technologies increases and construction workers are put back to work installing those new technologies.”

It is good to see members from both sides working together to reduce energy consumption in homes across the country. There a multitude of reasons to advance smart polices like this but Congress Welch summed it up pretty well:

“Energy efficiency is not a partisan issue. Investments in efficiency create a win-win-win: They create jobs, save people money and reduce carbon emissions.”

Let’s hope others in Congress agree with him and advance this common sense effort.

March 21, 2012

Honorable David McKinley
Honorable Peter Welch
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressmen McKinley and Welch,

We are writing to express our support for the Home Owner Managing Energy Savings Act of 2012, or HOMES Act.

As large and small businesses, efficiency and environmental advocates, and non-profit organizations we appreciate your bi-partisan effort to increase the efficiency of America’s homes while homeowners save money, benefitting the environment, and putting contractors back to work.

The HOMES Act will provide a much-needed incentive to homeowners to make energy efficient improvements to their homes. These home owners will save money on their utility bills while living in more comfortable homes. The HOMES Act also offers long-term benefits vital to America’s interests. It will create jobs, as demand for energy efficient technologies increases and construction workers are put back to work installing those new technologies.

Thank you for introducing the HOMES Act. We look forward to working with you.

Sincerely,

Alliance to Save Energy
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
ABM Industries
AHRI
BKi
Blow-in Blanket Contractors Association
CNAIMA
Conservation Services Group
Danfoss
Efficiency First
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Energy Future Coalition
Environment America
EPS Industry Alliance
Fresh Energy
GreenHomes America
Icynene
Ingersoll Rand/Trane
Insulation Contractors Association of America
Interfaith Power & Light
JELD WEN, Inc
Johnson Controls Inc.
Knauf Insulation
LIUNA
Masco Corporation
National Association of State Energy Officials
Natural Resources Defense Council
NAESCO
Performance Systems Development
RESNET
Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance
The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association
Sierra Club
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance
Structural Insulated Panel Association
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Green Building Council
United Technologies Corporation
Vinyl Siding Institute

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Bryan Howard

Legislative Director

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