In an effort to take advantage of popular programs and consumer support for energy savings the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate recently moved forward on proposed legislation to improve energy efficiency in the United States. The House version of a measure titled “Home Star” will help homeowners reduce their energy bills through investments in energy efficient products. In the Senate, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee plan to adopt new consensus minimum efficiency standards on a variety of products.
The House bill establishes a new program that provides grants to homeowners for weatherizing their homes. There are two options for homeowners.
- $250-$1,500 incentives for a variety of specific energy saving measures, up to a maximum of $3,000 per home
- incentives of $3,000-$8,000 per home for comprehensive packages of energy-saving measures
The Senate bill adopts consensus minimum efficiency standards on residential air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps, pole-mounted outdoor lights (e.g., street lights), drinking water dispensers, and more. It is clear that once the government backs incentives to homeowners for purchasing energy efficient products, homeowners will begin to see marked reductions in energy expenses for heating and cooling their homes.