HOME STAR, also known as 'Cash for Caulkers', is a proposed new national weatherization incentive program. This initiative establishes a $6 billion rebate program to help you invest in improving the energy efficiency, comfort, durability and safety of your home.
It will also help create jobs in both construction and manufacturing in local communities across the country.
HOME STAR will offer two different incentive levels – GOLD STAR and SILVER STAR. The legislation is still being drafted, but details about the proposed programs follow:
The $1.7 billion GOLD STAR level is a two-year program that features the highest incentive amounts offered and will be available only for whole-home improvement projects. Your Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analyst Certified Professional or a Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) qualified rater (or an approved equivalent) conducts an energy audit and comprehensive home performance assessment before work begins, then develops and prioritizes improvement measures specific to the needs of the particular house. Those measures are then implemented by a BPI GOLD STAR Accredited Contracting Company—or another accreditation approved by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.
When the work is complete, the certified analyst or rater returns to the house to conduct a test-out energy audit. This test-out assessment ensures that the installed measures are working properly and determines the modeled energy savings achieved. It also provides risk reduction for homeowners and tax payer dollars by creating a formalized quality assurance program that is hard-coded into the GOLD STAR incentive level.
If you improve your home’s energy performance by 20% you will receive $3,000 in incentives. You’ll also get an additional $1,000 for each additional 5% improvement. Depending on how much your home’s energy use is reduced, you could get up to 50% of the entire project cost (capped at $8,000)! And, of course, you get a much lower energy bill, greater comfort and durability, as well as enhanced health and safety.
Under the GOLD STAR level, only BPI Certified Building Analysts and RESNET raters (or an approved equivalent) can perform the test-in/test-out energy audit assessments.
And ONLY BPI GOLD STAR Accredited Contractors (or an another accreditation approved by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy) can implement energy efficiency improvement measures.
First and foremost, these limitations are in place to protect you, the homeowner and taxpayer. These trained, skilled and qualified experts have proven that they have the knowledge and skills to diagnose the root cause of the problems in your house and the ability to provide solutions to fix it right the first time.
The independent quality assurance providers are there to reduce the risk of fraud and abuse, and also to make sure your home is operating properly and safely based on the improvements made.
That means you get your money’s worth – a comfortable, safe, durable home with improved indoor air quality and lower energy bills.
Click here to find a GOLD STAR Accredited Contractor in your area.
SILVER STAR is a one-year program designed to kick-start job creation. It features lower incentive amounts and is intended for faster, smaller-scale projects with less impact on overall energy efficiency. You can receive between $1,000 and $1,500 for each measure installed in the home, or $250 per appliance, with a benefit not exceeding $3,000 or at most 50% of total project costs (whichever is less).
Covered measures include:
- air sealing
- attic, wall, and crawl space insulation
- duct sealing or replacement
- replacement of existing windows and doors, furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, water heaters and appliances with high-efficiency models
Click here to read The HOME STAR Initiative to Retrofit America’s Housing for Good Jobs and Energy Efficiency.