Thursday, July 01, 2010

Cash for Caulkers – The Definitive Guide To The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010



This article, by Houston Neal of Software Advice, demystifies the rebates that will be available for green retrofits.  I will post the second part tomorrow::
“Cash for Caulkers” is nearly here. Last month the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5019 – also known as the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 or “Cash for Caulkers” – to kick-start construction, create jobs and cut back carbon emissions. While the bill still needs to clear the Senate, supporters predict it will pass this summer.
This is great news for homeowners and contractors alike. The bill provisions $6 billion for energy-efficient or “green” retrofits. It is expected to fund renovations for 3 million families, create 168,000 new jobs and save consumers $9.2 billion on energy bills over the next 10 years.
But in order to cash in on upcoming rebates, homeowners and contractors will need to do their homework. There are 13 types of retrofits eligible for funding. Each retrofit has unique eligibility requirements and set rebate amounts. You can read the full text here.
We made it really easy to wade through the legalese. Below is a table that breaks down the 13 retrofits of the bill, along with the requirements and rebate amount for each. In addition to the requirements we listed, each retrofit must comply with Building Performance Institute (BPI) standards or other procedures to be approved by the Secretary of Energy.
RETROFIT
REQUIREMENTS
REBATE AMOUNT
Air sealing
Rebate covers both interior and exterior sealing and includes use of the following products: sealants, caulks, insulating foams, gaskets, weather-stripping, mastics, and other building materials.
$1,500
Attic insulation
Must meet the attic portions of the Department of Energy (DOE) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) thermal bypass checklist. You must add at least R–19 insulation to existing insulation, and it must result in at least R–38 insulation in DOE climate zones 1 through 4 and at least R–49 insulation in DOE climate zones 5 through 8. Finally, it must cover at least 100 percent of an accessible attic or 75 percent of the total conditioned footprint of the house.
$1,000
Duct replacement and sealing
Sealing must be installed in accordance with BPI standards or other procedures approved by the Secretary of Energy. For duct replacement, you must replace and seal at least 50 percent of a distribution system of the home.
$1,000
Wall insulation
Insulation must be installed to full-stud thickness or add at least R–10 of continuous insulation. It must covers at least 75 percent of the total external wall area of the home.
$1,500
Crawl space or basement insulation
Insulation must cover at least 500 square feet of crawl space or basement wall and add at least R–19 of cavity insulation or R–15 of continuous insulation to existing crawl space insulation; or R–13 of cavity insulation or R–10 of continuous insulation to basement walls. For rim joist insulation, you must fully cover the rim joist with at least R–10 of new continuous or R–13 of cavity insulation.
$250 for rim joist insulation
Window replacement
Must replace at least 8 exterior windows, or 75 percent of the exterior windows in a home, whichever is less, with windows that are certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council. Must comply with criteria applicable to windows under section 25(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or, in areas above 5,000 feet elevation, have a U-factor of at least 0.35 when replacing windows that are single-glazed or double-glazed with an internal air space of 1/4 inch or less.
$1,000
Door or skylight replacement
Must replace at least 1 exterior door or skylight with doors or skylights that comply with the 2010 Energy Star specification for doors or skylights.
$125 per door or skylight with a limit of 2 doors and 2 skylights
Heating system replacement
See second table below
$1,000
Air-source air conditioner or heat pump installation
Must be installed in accordance with ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 QI–2007. The air-source air conditioner must meet or exceed SEER 16 and EER 13; or SEER 18 and EER 15. The air-source heat pump must meet or exceed SEER 15, EER 12.5, and HSPF 8.5.
$1,500
Geothermal heat pump installation
Must be an Energy Star qualified geothermal heat pump that meets Tier 2 efficiency requirements and that is installed in accordance with ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 QI–2007.
$1,000
Water heater replacement
See third table below
$1,000
Storm windows or doors installation
Must be installed on at least 5 existing doors or existing single-glazed windows. Must comply with any procedures that the Secretary of Energy may set for storm windows or doors and their installation.
$50 for each window or door with a minimum of 5 windows or doors and a maximum of 12
Window film installation
Window film that is installed on at least 8 exterior windows, doors, or skylights, or 75 percent of the total exterior square footage of glass in a home, whichever is more, with window films that are certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council. Must have a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.43 or less with a visible light-to-solar heat gain coefficient of at least 1.1 for installations in 2009 International Energy Conservation Code climate zones 1–3; or a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.43 or less with a visible light light-to-solar heat gain coefficient of at least 1.1 and a U-factor of 0.40 or less as installed in 2009 International Energy Conservation Code climate zones 4–8.
$500

Houston Neal
Director of Marketing
Software Advice
www.softwareadvice.com