Cash for Caulkers

The Cash for Caulkers program, official name is Home Star, comes from the Obama White House in combination with businesses in a plan for "Recovery by Retrofit." By putting people to work doing weatherization and energy efficient home improvements Obama hopes to boost the economy while reducing home energy costs and reducing carbon emissions.

Cash for Caulkers offers two types of incentives. The first is "Silver Star," subsidizing the purchase of services, like air and duct sealing, as well as products, like efficient windows, water heaters, and furnaces.

The second type of Cash for Caulkers incentive is known as "Gold Star." Gold star offers incentives related to overall reductions in a home's energy use. A 20% reduction in energy use would qualify for $3,500 in rebates, and each 5 percent in additional savings adds $1,500 of incentives to the homeowner.

By making American homes more energy efficient, the cash for caulkers program is intended to create jobs, reduce energy use and expense for consumers, and lower carbon emissions across the United States.

As of February 2010 the Cash for Caulkers program is currently in the planning phase. One issue popping up is the federal government is requiring its contractors to pay employees state prevailing wage rates. This is often quite a bit higher then what contractors are used to paying. Some businesses are decrying the requirement, but their employees aren't.

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