BPI let us proctors know, on a conference call yesterday, that Home Star (Gold version) will soon be reintroduced in Congress. Does anyone have any more information on this?

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Since it never went anywhere, it can't be back.  It remains in dreamland, until Congress sends it to the president.

We will be asked to clamor for it, and we should do so, not holding our breath.

I searched around for information today but couldn't find anything. I was told that Efficiency First was initiating things but couldn't find anything on their site either.

Here are some thoughts on this being reintroduced...

 

1. Lets not get hung up on the green jobs debate...its about building and trades industry jobs....label it whatever you want but let's talk and act seriously about stimulating jobs...


2. We need to build consumer confidence to spend money on their homes....that is not going to be something that happens without a major change in the economy of the US and that is not happening overnight…we can not continue to tax and spend our way out of this problem…we need sound fiscal polciy and a balanced budget which can include a homestar or homestar like program. 

3. Most importantly we need to make sure homes get fixed correctly when they do get worked on...Homeowners, spend billions of dollars on fixes to homes with minimal impacts. Often times they remain uncomfortable and the home is still not operating very efficiently because the service providers have one solution and the family living in the homes does not know they can have anything better because not enough people offer all the solutions in the proper order. We certainly can do it right as an industry of professionals but we need to get serious about doing it right...this means offering comprehensive solutions everytime we go into a home and helping a consumer make the right decisions on how to do the improvements...in the end all trades can still benefit and the consumer's money will go much further, they will be more comfortable and the building will become more efficient. This is called a win…win….win approach…it solutions based…!!!

I'm in solid agreement with previous posts identifying the improvement of our housing stock as a strong investment opportunity that yields long-term dividends in comfort, health and energy savings.

 

But Americans' understanding is so widely varied, much emphasis is still needed on home operation. I.E. yesterday a ninety-one year old lady living in a 1200 square foot house with R-30 attic, adequate wall and floor insulation, double pane vinyl windows and steel insulated doors showed me her utility bills. A whopping 7,000 kwh each month for Dec, Jan and Feb!! Baseboards all around, but then the killer statement: "And I build a roaring fire in that big ole fireplace every cold night and feed it until I curl up!"

 

After I explained how that roaring fireplace is a dragon gobbling up her electric bill ($2600 in 3 months) and spitting her money up the chimney, i felt like i had murdered her best friend. After she lost her husband, she spends the evening home alone and the fireplace is such a pleasant companion. I explained that she can still have her fire, but not when it's really really cold, and NEVER when the heat is on in any room. She seemed consoled, but still bitter that I had hit her so hard with the cold fact.

 

This and similar stories clutter my journals from performing thousands of energy audits. The facts are simple: we lack a broad-based understanding of how our houses use energy, and we are easy prey for glitzy fixes when a wiser slant would be a Home Star program replete with standardized and informational measures of how well our houses perform and how to address our needs.

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