Archive for May, 2010

More Home Star Details

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Home Star plans to offer two incentive levels – Gold Star and Silver Star.  The $1.7 billion GOLD STAR level is a program that will be available only for whole-home improvement projects. Your BPI Building Analyst Certified Professional or a RESNET qualified rater (or an approved equivalent) conducts an energy audit and comprehensive home performance assessment before work begins, then develops and prioritizes improvement measures specific to the needs of the particular house.

When the work is completed by an accredited contracting company, the certified building analyst or rater returns to the house to conduct a test-out energy audit. This test-out assessment ensures that the installed measures are working properly and determines the modeled energy savings achieved. 

If you improve your home’s energy performance by 20% you will receive $3,000 in incentives. You’ll also get an additional $1,000 for each additional 5% improvement. Depending on how much your home’s energy use is reduced, you could get up to 50% of the entire project cost (capped at $8,000) plus a more energy efficient house.

How the EPA Chooses Products to Earn the Energy Star Label

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Products may earn the Energy Star label by meeting specific energy effective requirements set forth by the Energy Star conditions.  The EPA establishes these conditions based on the following:

  •  Product categories must contribute significant energy savings nationwide
  • Qualified products must suggest the features and performance insisted by consumers in addition to improved energy efficiency
  • If the qualified product costs more than a conventional, less efficient equivalent, purchasers will recover their investment in increased energy efficiency through utility bill savings, within a sensible period of time.
  • Energy efficiency can be reached through broadly obtainable non-proprietary technologies offered by more than one manufacturer
  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing
  • Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible for consumers

Tips to Save Energy Today

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Here are 10 easy low-cost ways to save energy.

  1. Install a programmable thermostat to keep your house comfortably warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.
  2. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs with the Energy Star label.
  3. Air dry dishes instead of using your dishwasher’s drying cycle.
  4. Turn off your computer and monitor when not in use.
  5. Plug home electronics, such as TVs and DVD players, into power strips; turn the power strips off when the equipment is not in use.
  6. Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 F
  7. Take short showers instead of baths.
  8. Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes.
  9. Drive sensibly.  Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gasoline.
  10. Look for the Energy Star Label on home appliances and products.  Energy start products meet strict efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department on Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Home Star Act Passes the House of Representatives

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

By a vote of 246 to 161 the House of Representatives today voted to endorse the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, which permits creation of a national energy retrofit agenda for American homeowners.  The vote marks a noteworthy milestone in the development of the bipartisan HOME STAR legislation, however it’s essential to remember that the authorization bill passed today must be matched by the Senate, and followed up with an appropriation bill to allocate funds for the $6 billion program.

Home Star Legislation is going to the House Floor

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

The Home Star Legislation is going to the House floor this Thursday, May 6.  Home Star is said to create jobs for Americans and provide incentives for home energy efficiency improvements.  Here is what you can do to help ensure our members of congress vote for the Home Star program:

  • Call or write to the Senators from your state and your local Congressional Representative (Go to www.senate.gov or www.house.gov to get phone and address information, or if you need to look up your members by zip code.)
  • Write a letter to your local newspaper
  • Find out more at www.efficiencyfirst.org/take-action
  • If you would like to become more engaged in efforts to pass Home Star on Capitol Hill, please contact Efficiency First’s legislative representative Kara Saul Rinaldi at kara@efficiencyfirst.org