Industry Disappointed that Home Star Program Shelved Until After Senate Recess
August 9, 2010

Before adjourning the August session, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced last week that he will not hold a floor vote on an energy and oil spill response bill, which also would have offered rebates to consumers for home energy efficiency improvements under the Home Star program. According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Reid was unable to get Republicans to go along with the bill. The bill is shelved until the Senate returns after Labor Day.

Rob Joyce, director of governmental affairs for Guardian Industries Corp. says the Home Star program could be beneficial for the industry and hopes that once the Senate is back in session it will resume efforts to pass the legislation.

“Home Star has attracted bipartisan support in the Senate because it will promote energy efficiency, lower consumers' energy bills, and create jobs in the construction and manufacturing sectors,” said Joyce. “A growing number of members from both political parties recognize that capturing energy savings from buildings is a win-win for the environment and the economy. We hope the Senate will act promptly to pass Home Star when it returns from its recess next month.”

Likewise, industry associations have also spoken out about the recent news concerning the Home Star program.

“GANA members have actively supported the Home Star initiative and believe that it would provide not only energy savings, but a boost to the glass industry,” said Bill Yanek, GANA executive vice president. “That being said, as we are experiencing with Building STAR (and just about every piece of legislation), any floor action requiring bipartisan support is being caught up in election year politics. Hopefully, with Home STAR and Building STAR, Congress will act despite the highly charged partisan environment.”

Rich Walker, president and chief executive officer of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, has a similar perspective.

“It’s unfortunate that partisan politics has impeded the progress of energy-efficiency legislation that would help Americans save money on their energy bills, and would bring further attention to the need for increased awareness in the sector of environmental policy change,” says Walker. “Moving forward, we support legislation that makes energy-efficiency not only a priority but also an attractive choice to American consumers, by presenting incentives to make energy-conscious renovations that will result in more efficient homes and decreased energy bills.”

Jeffrey T. Inks, vice president, codes and regulatory affairs for the Window & Door Manufacturers Association, adds “We’re aware that several contractor organizations would like to see the rebates go directly to homeowners instead of through the contractor or dealer as currently proposed, and that they would also like to see more certification options for contractors performing Gold Star renovations. WDMA is supportive of the Home Star legislation so we hope those issues can be resolved.”

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