07/28/2010 03:36 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Senate Should Pass Home Star Now

HOME STAR (no relation to Homestar Runner) is a two-year proposed program that would provide incentives to homeowners for energy-efficient retrofits. It is currently part of the proposed Clean Energy Jobs and Oil Accountability Act, which is now before the U.S. Senate.

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Trouble is, it's now before the U.S. Senate. And they've had trouble getting things done recently. Why do we need HOME STAR? It would create and support green jobs, while helping decrease carbon emissions, wean us off disaster-prone and polluting fossil fuels, and decrease reliance on foreign energy suppliers.

The bill thus far has bipartisan support, and a number of advocates have been swinging for HOME STAR, including a coalition of 2,600 industry, energy, labor and environmental groups from all 50 states. The majority are small and medium-sized businesses, though they also include the Sierra Club, BASF (don't see those two on the same side that often, do ya?), Green For All, Oracle and Masco. Masco owns WellHome, a national provider of energy efficiency home improvement services.

WellHome's president Larry Laseter today joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senators Debbie Stabenow and Robert Menendez at a press conference to promote HOME STAR on behalf of the HOME STAR Coaltion.

Laseter said HOME STAR "will deliver a rare triple win for the American people in the form of jobs, savings for consumers, and a positive impact on energy independence and the environment." He added, "We urge swift action by the Senate to pass this legislation quickly. While HOME STAR has raised awareness of home energy efficiency and more consumers are having their homes assessed, twice as many consumers are delaying the retrofit work itself in anticipation of HOME STAR. The time for HOME STAR is now."

Clearly, HOME STAR would benefit WellHome, because the company assesses home energy needs with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, recommends options to customers to improve a home's comfort and energy efficiency, then handles the installations.

(Hey, this is exactly what my roommate does too, in the New York City area, with his companies Energy Paradiso and Para Contracting.)

Hopefully, politicians can get it together, and pass HOME STAR, which should be a win for everyone (except maybe coal companies).

Photo credit: Brian Clark Howard

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