Bill aimed at creating jobs, making homes 'green'

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -  Home Star is the latest clunker-esque program.

"At some point, they've got to stop," said Brent Conaway, with Conaway Homes.  But Conaway said there's nothing wrong with taking advantage of what you can while you can.

Conaway is in the new home and remodeling business.

"Many people are deciding to stay in their homes, upgrade them, modernize, and increase energy efficiency," he said.

He said energy efficient retrofitting can help homeowners save significantly on their utility bills, just one of the goals of the proposed Cash for Caulkers program.

Bill Andreason, a certified energy auditor with Energy Concepts, said the program could possibly work on two different levels.

"The Silver Star program is designed to allow homeowners to make basic improvements," he said.  New insulation, tighter duct seals, weatherization and lighting projects could yield $250 to $4,000 for homeowners.

Andreason said a certified energy auditor would have to come into your home to determine what and where your home needs energy improvements.

Once the assessment is done and improvements are made, another assessment would be completed.

Under the Gold Star track, a 20 percent improvement in your home's energy efficiency could yield $3,500 in incentives.

Each additional 5 percent beyond the initial 20 percent translates to $1,500 in savings, up to half the cost of the upgrades.

"Energy retrofitting is one of the best return investments that a person can make right now," said Andreason.

The legislation for the Home Star, aka, caulkers program is still being written.

The White House says more than one million contractors could potentially be put to work retrofitting more than 100 million U.S. homes.

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