August 17th, 2010
The Facts on Home Star
The Home Star legislation is trying to make it through Congress (CLICK HERE for related article). Some days, it seems like this legislation will be a slam dunk, but other times, it seems iffy at best. Although there is strong support for the Home Star bill, dealers around the country tell me they are opposed to its passing in its current form. One of the challenges with the current bill is that the rebate comes to the consumer/homeowner upfront and directly from the window dealer. The government then will reimburse the dealer.
This is obviously great for the homeowner, but for the home improvement company and the window manufacturer, it could pose a great challenge. The government isn’t the quickest in paying out money as the Cash for Clunkers program clearly illustrated. Auto dealerships were waiting for months to get the rebates and, in turn, so were the auto manufacturers. This delay caused grave challenges within the auto industry, and I know that it will cause significant challenges within the door and window industry as well. If the bill passes in its current form, it could actually hurt the industry rather than help it.
Another challenge this program poses to the industry is the energy audit aspect of the bill. The energy audit companies all use their own measuring standards. This undermines the credibility of the program as it is biased to the respective energy audit companies mentioned in the bill. The question that many of us have is, “Why is Home Star recommending BPI, RESNET or any other energy audit company the EPA decides on?” This is a question I can’t answer. However, I do know that many dealers around the country are upset about this. In fact, for most dealers, if they want to get into the Gold part of the Home Star program, they have to spend a lot of money getting their people, trained and certified.
Many industry organizations are in the process of explaining the shortcomings of the Home Star bill to the legislators that will listen. But we all need to do our part and let Congress know the challenges the bill will cause. Also, there are people inside and outside of our industry that just don’t want any more government spending and oppose the bill entirely. No matter how you feel, I encourage you to make your voices heard.
Finally, I wish everyone great selling through the end of the year!