Many of us have heard about the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 (or "Cash for Caulkers") program that was passed by the House of Representatives last month and is currently waiting to clear the Senate. It sounds as if this bill could be a win/win situation for homeowners and contractors--homeowners will get excellent rebates on "green" products which, in turn, should kick-start the construction industry and create jobs.
However, the bill itself is VERY comprehensive. There are 13 types of retrofit projects eligible for rebates, and each product has unique eligibility requirements and set rebate amounts--so it can be quite confusing for consumers. I recently read an excellent blog article that does a nice job of breaking down the eligible projects by type and giving a concise description of the requirements and rebates available for each. (http://tinyurl.com/2f3bhs8) Whether you’re a consumer or a contractor, this easy-to-understand chart will make it easier to clearly see what types of rebates the Home Star bill will provide.
And although I believe Home Star will be great--both for homeowners who want to make their homes "greener" and save money on energy costs, and for contractor still feeling the effects of the economic downturn--it’s important to remember that this bill could take weeks, or even months, to become a law. For homeowners who want to replace their windows or doors, add insulation, or make other energy-efficient improvements to their homes RIGHT NOW, there are still excellent federal tax credits available for 30% of the cost of qualified products--up to $1,500. For more information on the existing tax credits, visit http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index.
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