President Obama revealed the details of his new “Cash for Caulkers” home-retrofitting rebate yesterday. The program, dubbed Home Star, would offer rebates to homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. Based on last year’s popular “Cash for Clunkers” program, Home Star would offer homeowners rebates of up to $3,000 for renovations such adding energy-efficient windows or better insulation, sealing ducts and upgrading to energy-efficient water heaters.
The program, which still needs congressional approval, would cost an estimated $6 billion—but it could save billions more. A White House report estimates that energy-efficient home upgrades could cut individual home energy use by 40 percent and save the nation $21 billion.
If passed, the program could achieve multiple goals at once. It would lower consumers’ utility bills, reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels and create about 168,000 jobs, mostly in construction—an industry that’s suffering almost 25 percent unemployment.
Because the program is still pending Congress’s approval, details on when the Home Star program would start are up in the air.
What do you think about the Cash for Caulkers program? Leave me a comment in the comments section.