Cash for caulkers is the newest cash incentive for consumers. The goals of the cash for caulkers program, or the Homestar program, are to create jobs and save on energy bills.
The house passed the $6 billion cash for caulkers program yesterday, so I’m sure we’ll be hearing lots about it in the next few weeks.
Apparently the “cash for stuff” names are sticking after the cash for clunkers  program last year.
Cash for Caulkers
Details on the rebates for renovating your home with the homestar program  include:
- $1,000 – $1,500 Silver Star Rebates: Consumers looking to have simple upgrades performed in their homes would be eligible for 50% rebates up to $1,000 – $1,500 for doing any of a straightforward set of upgrades, including: insulation, duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing and doors. Under Silver Star, consumers can chose a combination of upgrades for rebates up to a maximum of $3,000 per home. Rebates would be limited to the most energy efficient categories of upgrades—focusing on products made primarily in the United States and installed by certified contractors.
- $3000 Gold Star Rebates: Consumers interested in more comprehensive energy retrofits would be eligible for a $3,000 rebate for a whole home energy audit and subsequent retrofit tailored to achieve a 20% energy savings in their homes. Consumers could receive additional rebate amounts for energy savings in excess of 20%. Gold Star would build on existing whole home retrofit programs, like EPA’s successful Home Performance with Energy Star program.
Sorting out the Energy Programs
The cash for caulkers program is different than the energy efficient tax credit  ending this year. And if it goes through as planned, you might want to wait, because a 50% rebate could be worth much more than the current 30% tax credits.
Next up, a vote in the Senate. We’ll see if the Homestar cash for caulkers program will become law. Until then, hold off on the home improvement projects!