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Federal Energy Policy

Important Legislation

HOME STAR

HOME STAR is proposed legislation that would help create jobs in existing industries by establishing a $6 billion rebate program encouraging short-term incentives for energy efficiency improvements in residential buildings.

According to the HOME STAR Coalition website, "HOME STAR provides two types of consumer incentives:

1. The SILVER STAR prescriptive path provides a near-term incentive for specific energy saving investments that is simple to administer and easily introduced into the existing marketplace. Homeowners 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 least 50% of total project costs (whichever is less). Covered measures include air sealing; attic, wall, and crawl space insulation; duct sealing or replacement; and replacement of existing windows and doors, furnaces, air conditioners, heat pumps, water heaters and appliances with high-efficiency models. The legislation will utilize existing standards for qualifying products at a level sufficient to significantly increase consumer demand for highly energy efficient building materials and mechanical systems. SILVER STAR improvements may be implemented by any appropriately licensed and insured contractor, but all participating contractors will receive information about opportunities for accreditation and training programs.

2. The GOLD STAR performance path offers an incentive to households that choose to conduct a comprehensive energy audit and then implement a variety of measures that are designed together to provide greater total returns in energy savings. This performance path represents the future of home efficiency: state-of-the-art building science is used to identify problems, present solutions and deliver verifiable energy savings, generating confidence among homeowners and investors alike. This technology-neutral approach is based on performance, not specific products, so market forces will direct funds to solutions that achieve the best results. A certified professional with accreditation from the Building Performance Institute (BPI), the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) or an approved equivalent conducts an energy audit before work begins, and a test-out when the performance retrofit is complete. Consumers receive $3,000 for modeled savings of 20%, plus an additional $1,000 incentive for each additional 5% of modeled energy savings, with incentives not to exceed 50% of project costs. Contractors implementing the GOLD STAR performance path must be BPI accredited."

In order to support the success of consumer incentives, HOME STAR includes mechanisms regulating the quality and administration of the program. The proper administration of the rebates to avoid bureaucratic logjams, and a simple paperwork review will ensure the reliability of construction funded by HOME STAR rebates.

HOME STAR is currently attached to the Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Company Accountability Act of 2010 (Senate Bill 3663, or the "Spill Bill").

For more on HOME STAR, visit the websites of the following organizations:

 

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)

In 2008, KEEA focused its attention on federal energy legislation. KEEA was particularly active as it engaged in the debate surrounding the economic stimulus. KEEA was an early member of the National SAVE Energy Coalition, which worked with the U.S. Congress to secure substantial funding for energy programs in what later became ARRA. Both of Pennsylvania's senators supported the energy provisions of ARRA thanks, in part, to the phone calls, emails, and visits of KEEA members.

KEEA now monitors and makes recommendations to state agencies on how to maximize the benefit Pennsylvania can derive from stimulus funds.

Click here to download KEEA's "Map of Energy Efficiency Planning, Funding and Implementation in PA"

For more information on the impact of ARRA funds in Pennsylvania, click here.

 

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