Industry Reacts to Homestar ProgramMarch 9th, 2010 by DWM Magazine
When President Obama spoke last week at Savanna Technical College concerning the Homestar program, which would offer rebates for energy efficient improvements, including windows, many in the industry expressed their support for this plan.
“The homeowner would be eligible for a rebate from the store or the contractor for 50 percent of the cost of each upgrade up to $1,500. Now, if you decided to retrofit your whole house to greatly reduce your energy use, you’d be eligible for a rebate of up to $3,000,” said Obama in his remarks.
He continued, “Now, we know this will save families as much as several hundred dollars on their utilities. We know it will make our economy less dependent on fossil fuels, helping to protect the planet for future generations. But I want to emphasize that Homestar will also create business and spur hiring up and down the economy.” Steven Tourek, chair of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), says the WDMA supports the plan.
“The program will give the industry’s recovery a much needed boost while helping to improve our nation’s overall energy efficiency,” he says. “We will continue to work with the Administration and Congress to encourage the use of ENERGY STAR standards as the appropriate qualifying criteria for windows, doors and skylights eligible for consumer incentives under Homestar.”
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also is supportive of the president’s plan.
“This has the potential to be a real shot in the arm for the home building industry,” says NAHB chairman Bob Jones, a builder and developer in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. “It will help put America back to work and it will help families save on monthly energy bills.”
NAHB economists estimate that every $1 billion in remodeling and home improvement activity generates 11,000 jobs, $527 million in wages and salaries, and $300 million in business income.
However, the NAHB says the association does have concerns about some of the implementing details as the program has been proposed in various legislative drafts.
“For this effort to be successful, the opportunities must be equally accessible to everyone,” Jones says. “We need to make sure that Congress does not put up barriers that would keep this program from reaching its full potential.”
But the residential industry isn’t the only industry to benefit from these rebates. A similar program, Building Star, also was introduced last week. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) is just one group supportive of this plan, which would offer rebates and tax incentives for energy-efficient improvements to commercial properties and large, multi-family buildings.
“Spurring retrofits of commercial and multi-family buildings through Building STAR can start to reverse the downward trend in construction and manufacturing by leveraging private-sector investment to create jobs,” says Rich Walker, AAMA president and CEO. “We believe the Building STAR program should be included in the federal ‘jobs bill’ because it would help create at least 150,000 high-quality jobs during 2010 in every part of the country. We encourage individuals to contact their Senators to express support for the bill.”
CLICK HERE for more information about Building Star from DWM’s sister site, www.USGNN.com.
CLICK HERE to take DWM’s latest poll regarding Homestar. (The poll is located in the bottom right-hand corner of the site.)