Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) today joined a majority in the House of Representatives in supporting legislation that will create new clean energy jobs, spur energy savings for American families, and reduce our dangerous dependence of foreign oil that is funding terrorism. H.R. 5019, the bipartisan Home Star Energy Retrofit Act was passed by the House of Representatives with a 246 - 161 vote.
"With unemployment in the U.S. construction industry over 25%, it is critical Congress put in place necessary incentives to promote job growth in the home improvement sector," said Rep. Baca. "Today's legislation provides the immediate incentives for consumers to renovate their homes that will lead to the creation of new, good paying jobs -- that cannot be outsourced. And by increasing our energy efficiency, this bill helps to strengthen our national security and reduce our reliance on foreign oil interests that fund terrorism."
H.R. 5019 authorizes necessary funding for up-front rebates of up to $3,000 for home energy saving investments such as improved insulation, duct sealing, installation of energy efficient windows and doors, air sealing, water heating, and more. It is estimated that these home renovation incentives will:
* Create approximately 168,000 American jobs in construction, manufacturing and retail industries;
* Save about 3 million American families an estimated $200-500 per year on their energy bills, totaling $9 billion in savings over the next 10 years; and
* Reduce our dangerous dependence of foreign oil -- cutting the use of natural gas and home heating oil in an amount equivalent to nearly 7 million barrels of heating oil in 2011.
"For too long, Republican policies have let Big Oil interests hold our nation hostage," concluded Rep. Baca. "This responsible bill moves America in a new direction -- creating clean energy jobs, promoting energy savings, protecting our environment, and promoting our energy independence."
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act has received bipartisan support, and has been endorsed by a broad range of business, labor, environmental, and consumer groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Home Builders.