The proposed HOME STAR program, more popularly known as “Cash
for Caulkers,” which would grant homeowners rebates for energy-efficient
improvements, is generating noteworthy press and inspiring Americans
nationwide to get out and weatherize. Already passed by the House,
HOME STAR is now under consideration by the Senate. Click on the
links below to learn more about this exciting program and how you
can get involved to help ensure HOME STAR delivers sustained energy
savings and environmental benefits.
- What is HOME STAR?
HOME STAR is legislation proposed by the Obama Administration
and is designed to employ workers in the hard-hit construction
industry, offer environmental benefits, and rack up energy
savings for US consumers. This proposed initiative would
establish a $6 billion rebate program to encourage homeowners
to make immediate investment in energy-efficient appliances,
building mechanical systems and insulation, and whole-home
energy efficiency retrofits.
For a detailed description of the HOME STAR proposed legislation
including the two types of consumer incentives, Silver Star and Gold
Star, follow the links below:
- What is the status of
HOME STAR today?
On May 6, 2010, the House of Representatives passed HR 5019,
the much-talked about HOME STAR Energy Retrofit Act of 2010,
more commonly known as “Cash for Caulkers” with flying colors
(246 to 161). The bill is now in the Senate for consideration.
The bill has bi-partisan support and is backed by the HOME
STAR Coalition, more than 1,300 supporters from labor unions,
the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers,
contractors, retailers, utilities and regulators, among
For up to the minute updates on the status of HOME STAR
follow the link below:
- Do the manufacturers
of GE Sealants support HOME STAR?
Yes. We do support HOME STAR demonstrated by our membership in the HOME STAR
Coalition, a coalition of more than 1,300 supporters from
a variety of industries that supports the passing of HOME
Although we support the passing of HOME STAR, we believe
that to achieve the greatest sustained energy savings and
environmental impact, HOME STAR must require homeowners
and contractors to use the most energy efficient, longest-lasting materials when weatherizing a home.
Yet, in passing the bill through the House, language requiring
products to last five years in order to be eligible for
tax incentives was recently changed to just one year.
One year is simply an inadequate amount of time to realize
the long-term economic and environmental benefits intended
by the passing of this bill or to produce an adequate return
on investment to American taxpayers.
Therefore, as the bill goes through the Senate, we are lobbying
to include language requiring all products used to retrofit
the home to have sustained energy-efficiency. We believe
that the previous five-year requirement or, an even more
effective 10-year requirement, represents a more sound policy,
from both economic and environmental perspectives.
To get involved and demonstrate your support for HOME
with a minimum of a five-year product life for all tax incentive
eligible products, please
- Are home sealing efforts,
and caulk specifically, among the improvements/products eligible
for pending tax incentives?
Yes. Under the currently proposed standards and the proposal
to require products to last five years (or 10 years) in
order to be eligible for tax incentives, caulks would be
considered eligible for tax rebates under the HOME STAR
program, if approved.
The proposed HOME
STAR program would provide rebates to
homeowners who retrofit their homes to increase energy-efficiency.
Improved air sealing with caulk, insulation
and advanced building materials are just some of the recommended
measures that would be eligible for tax rebates.
For a detailed description of the
HOME STAR proposed legislation
including the two types of rebate programs, Silver Star
and Gold Star, follow the links below:
To learn how to air seal, click here.
- According to the HOME
STAR legislation is silicone caulk considered the best caulk
HOME STAR does not currently call out specific caulks to use for weatherization.
But if you want savings that will last, use 100 percent
silicone, not acrylic caulk.
Unlike acrylic caulk, which is vulnerable to the effects
of Mother Nature and can break down over time, silicone
remains permanently flexible, shrink-proof, crack-proof, and waterproof.
In fact, 100 percent silicone remains unaffected by all
weather and temperature conditions, helping prevent energy-wasting
gaps and cracks.
- How would I get my rebate?
If the HOME STAR program is approved, the rebate could be
credited to consumers at multiple points in the transaction
process including point of sale or completion of the job.
The administrative process hasn’t been fully fleshed out.
To learn more,
- How can I demonstrate
my support for HOME STAR and lobby for a minimum of a five-year
product lifespan for all tax incentive eligible products?
To demonstrate your support, use the links below to find
contact information for Senators from your state. Then call
and/or write to their offices urging them to support
HOME STAR with the inclusion of a minimum of a five-year product
life for all tax incentive eligible products.
- To find contact information for your Senators, go to
Select your state from the “Find Your Senators” drop-down
menu on the upper right corner of the page and click “Go.”
Click here to download a sample letter that you
can modify and personalize in any way you choose. In addition
to sending this letter to your state Senators, please also
consider sharing it with your local media, Twitter,
and Facebook fans Winning widespread support for the five-year
minimum is critical to help ensure HOME STAR delivers sustained
savings for America.
- Additional HOME STAR and Tax Incentive Resources