WASHINGTON -- More than 100 contractors from coast to coast are coming to Capitol Hill May 20-21 to meet with lawmakers and share their stories on the critical need for the Home Star Energy Retrofit legislation. The contractors, members of the home energy retrofit trade association Efficiency First, will be thanking members of the House for passing H.R. 5019, the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, and meeting with Senators and their staff to encourage them to rapidly advance its counterpart, S. 3177.
“The innovative Home Star program will turn around an industry where one in four construction workers are unemployed and manufacturing is at 62 percent of capacity," said Mike Rogers, chair of Efficiency First and a contractor with GreenHomes America. "In fact, Home Star is expected to create 168,000 high-quality building jobs over the next two years, while also helping homeowners save money on their energy bills."
The Home Star legislation calls for the creation of a $6 billion national program to create jobs and provide direct rebates to homeowners who invest in qualifying home energy efficiency improvements. Rebate amounts are deducted from overall job costs at the time of sale and paid directly to the contractor or product retailer after the retrofit work has been completed. Residential efficiency improvements can reduce energy waste in most homes by 20-40 percent, generate long-term savings for consumers and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.
As part of the Day on the Hill event, contractors from 48 states will be meeting with lawmakers to encourage them to support this bipartisan legislation, and urge quick action.
"The passage of Home Star in the House was a mixed blessing," said Rogers of the May 6 bipartisan floor vote. "Now that Americans are aware of the Home Star legislation, many are delaying their retrofit plans in hopes of federal support. Ironically, while Home Star is in process, it is having a negative impact on the very industry that it is designed to help."
Efficiency First said the contractors, representing the association's more than 1,000 small and medium-sized contractor businesses from all 50 states, will be telling members of Congress that the current delay in passing the Home Star legislation has created a further 10-15 percent drop-off in customers directly related to their anticipation of Home Star incentives.
For more information about Home Star or Efficiency First go to www.efficiencyfirst.org.