Rep. Peter Welch today unveiled bipartisan legislation to create a nationwide energy efficiency program that will create jobs, save homeowners money and reduce carbon emissions.
The Home Owner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) Act will provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy efficiency improvements. Homeowners who demonstrate a 20 percent energy savings will receive a $2,000 rebate. For every 5 percent in additional energy savings, they can receive another $1,000 -- up to a total of $8,000 or 50 percent of the project's cost.
"Vermont has lead the nation in energy efficiency. This legislation will bring the Vermont model to the rest of the country to save homeowners money, put contractors back to work and improve the environment," Welch said. "And, in an era of partisan gridlock, energy efficiency is a practical, common sense idea where lawmakers can find common ground. "
The Homes Act is modeled after the Welch-authored Home Star Energy Retrofit Act (H.R. 5019), which passed the House with bipartisan support in the 111th Congress.
Also today, President Obama urged Congress, as part of his budget proposal for fiscal year 2013, to pass Welch's Home Star bill, saying "The Administration continues to call on the Congress to pass the Home Star bill, or other mandatory funding legislation aimed at creating jobs by encouraging Americans to invest in energy saving home improvements."