I first wrote about Home Star in March, when Obama was in Savannah, GA proposing the program. Three months later and Congress has passed H.B. 5019 - Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, a.k.a. Cash for Caulkers. All of this was probably helped out by V.P. Biden's report delivered in October of 2009 titled Recovery through Retrofit. The bill still has to head through the Senate, but with all the renewed focus on home energy efficiency, let's hope the bill will make it through.
Like most bills that go through D.C., this one is a little complicated, but here is a link to the best summary of the Home Star - Cash for Caulkers - bill. The article was written by Houston Neal and is extremely comprehensive. The table below is only an excerpt and I highly recommend reading his whole detailed analysis.
I've actually been considering window film installation so hopefully the bill will pass so I can take advantage of $500! Of all of these options, which one would you choose?
|Air sealing||Rebate covers both interior and exterior sealing and includes use of the following products: sealants, caulks, insulating foams, gaskets, weather-stripping, mastics, and other building materials.||$1,500|
|Attic insulation||Must meet the attic portions of the Department of Energy (DOE) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) thermal bypass checklist. You must add at least R–19 insulation to existing insulation, and it must result in at least R–38 insulation in DOE climate zones 1 through 4 and at least R–49 insulation in DOE climate zones 5 through 8. Finally, it must cover at least 100 percent of an accessible attic or 75 percent of the total conditioned footprint of the house.||$1,000|
|Duct replacement and sealing||Sealing must be installed in accordance with BPI standards or other procedures approved by the Secretary of Energy. For duct replacement, you must replace and seal at least 50 percent of a distribution system of the home.||$1,000|
|Wall insulation||Insulation must be installed to full-stud thickness or add at least R–10 of continuous insulation. It must covers at least 75 percent of the total external wall area of the home.||$1,500|
|Crawl space or basement insulation||Insulation must cover at least 500 square feet of crawl space or basement wall and add at least R–19 of cavity insulation or R–15 of continuous insulation to existing crawl space insulation; or R–13 of cavity insulation or R–10 of continuous insulation to basement walls. For rim joist insulation, you must fully cover the rim joist with at least R–10 of new continuous or R–13 of cavity insulation.||$250 for rim joist insulation|
|Window replacement||Must replace at least 8 exterior windows, or 75 percent of the exterior windows in a home, whichever is less, with windows that are certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council. Must comply with criteria applicable to windows under section 25(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or, in areas above 5,000 feet elevation, have a U-factor of at least 0.35 when replacing windows that are single-glazed or double-glazed with an internal air space of 1/4 inch or less.||$1,000|
|Door or skylight replacement||Must replace at least 1 exterior door or skylight with doors or skylights that comply with the 2010 Energy Star specification for doors or skylights.||$125 per door or skylight with a limit of 2 doors and 2 skylights|
|Heating system replacement||Follow this link and see second table||$1,000|
|Air-source air conditioner or heat pump installation||Must be installed in accordance with ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 QI–2007. The air-source air conditioner must meet or exceed SEER 16 and EER 13; or SEER 18 and EER 15. The air-source heat pump must meet or exceed SEER 15, EER 12.5, and HSPF 8.5.||$1,500|
|Geothermal heat pump installation||Must be an Energy Star qualified geothermal heat pump that meets Tier 2 efficiency requirements and that is installed in accordance with ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 QI–2007.||$1,000|
|Water heater replacement||Follow this link and see third table||$1,000|
|Storm windows or doors installation||Must be installed on at least 5 existing doors or existing single-glazed windows. Must comply with any procedures that the Secretary of Energy may set for storm windows or doors and their installation.||$50 for each window or door with a minimum of 5 windows or doors and a maximum of 12|
|Window film installation||Window film that is installed on at least 8 exterior windows, doors, or skylights, or 75 percent of the total exterior square footage of glass in a home, whichever is more, with window films that are certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council. Must have a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.43 or less with a visible light-to-solar heat gain coefficient of at least 1.1 for installations in 2009 International Energy Conservation Code climate zones 1–3; or a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.43 or less with a visible light light-to-solar heat gain coefficient of at least 1.1 and a U-factor of 0.40 or less as installed in 2009 International Energy Conservation Code climate zones 4–8.||$500|