Home Star Energy Retrofit Act Passed by House of Representatives
Yesterday afternoon (5/6/10), the House of Representatives voted to approve the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 (H.R. 5019), which authorizes $6 billion to the residential insulation contracting and home performance industries through a national rebate program for homeowners. The vote marks a significant milestone in the progress of the bipartisan HOME STAR legislation, although it’s important to note that the authorization bill passed must be matched by the Senate, and followed up with an appropriation bill to allocate funds for the $6 billion program.
How did the Home Star legislation significantly change yesterday?
The House agreed that the rebate would go to the consumer directly from a federal rebate processing center.
Previously, the bill had contractors fronting the rebate for the homeowner and then seeking payment from the rebate processor. Although the new method relieves the insulator from fronting rebate monies, it requires the homeowner to front the entire invoice amount and then apply for the rebate once the insulation retrofit work is completed. This may make it more difficult to close a sale.
So what happens now?
1. The Senate needs to approve its similar bill on Home Star.
2. The Senate would need to reconcile its approved bill with the approved House bill.
3. Funds for the program need to be allocated either through a budget offset or through an emergency spending bill.
With ICAA's office in Washington providing logistical support to Congress and Congressional staff, and with the additional grass roots support provided by ICAA's member contractors and suppliers, the insulation contracting industry is well positioned to advance our needs