The HOMES Act: Good News for Homeowners and Energy Professionals

Jun, 7 2013 01:06
The HOMES Act: Good News for Homeowners and Energy Professionals

Last week, in a rare but important step forward in bi-partisan leadership on energy policy, representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-VT) reintroduced the Home Owners Making Energy Savings (HOMES) Act.

Bi-Partisan Support

Given the heavy partisan politics that have weighed down policy advancements in Washington over the past five years, this is a huge step forward for the American people, with both Democrats and Republicans putting their differences aside and agreeing on a some common goals:  energy efficiency and savings for homeowners.

Up to $8,000 in Rebates

The bill would create a rebate program based on home performance, and would provide an incentive for homeowners based on predicted energy savings up to $8000 for a 50% energy performance improvement.

The bill goes one step further by remaining technology-neutral.  This is a huge improvement from previous federal energy incentive programs, which provided incentives for retrofits of a particular type or using a particular technology.

Rebates Based on Energy Savings

A technology-neutral rebate program allows homeowners to take advantage of the rebate by using whatever technology or retrofit works best for their home and circumstances, and doesn’t favor one technology over another.  The rebate is based on performance with a quality assurance requirement, but the particular retrofit used is at the discretion of the homeowner. 

Contractors Must Be Qualified

The bill states that work must be performed by certified BPI Building Analysts or RESNET Energy Smart Home Performance Teams, and that testing by qualified Energy Auditors is required to confirm the amount of energy savings in a home.

Contractors are advised to start the process of obtaining the required certifications now, to be ready when the law passes. Contact Green Training USA at 1-800-518-1877 for more information.

Energy Efficiency is a Win-Win

Ultimately, this is a win-win situation. Contractors can get back to work doing the retrofits. Homeowners will save money by using less energy and using it more efficiently.  And everybody wins with the reduced environmental impacts of lower energy consumption and more efficient energy usage.