I don’t think this will pass. I joined Efficiency First over a year ago and have been following Homestar since it’s inception.
Matt Golden, founder of EF is the man behind HS and has worked hard to lobby the house and senate. Unfortunately, Harry Reid is behind it as well as Olympia Snow from Maine and Scott Brown from Mass. This bill has grown into a massive piece of legislation almost 900 pages long and last I heard it was attached to the spill bill.
Another problem is where is the 6 billion going to come from. To many legislators are already under attack because the stimulus bill did not keep unemployment under 8% like promised.
In addition, if this bill does get passed there are two more obstacles. 1st, in order to qualify you have to spend some of your own money, money most people don’t have right now and 2nd, Gold Star requires the home owner or contractor to go through a clearing house to get paid. In order to do this the bills sponsors have decided to use existing programs in place, IE the weatherization program. So here is how that will work.
A home owner calls in a energy auditor to evaluate the home and create a work scope. The contractor now comes in and completes the work scope, the the auditor come back and tests out. This in itself is problematic. 1st the auditor will likely get 400-500 per audit. To complete a audit to weatherization guidelines along with the energy model and report can take up to 6 hours for a medium size home, you can cut that down by having a helper but expenses go up. Then you still have to go back and test out. Blower door and C/O test. No extra charge. 2nd, the contractor has to pay for all the material/labor and doesn’t get paid by the clearing house until the test out report is submitted and processed, they say in most cases this will be done within 30 days, ya right!!! So, I don’t know many contractors right now that can put out this kind of money and wait for it to come back. Also, if the weatherization program is a model, the contractor will only be able to make app. 70% of what he would charge on a job outside the program, " but look at all the work you’ll get"
Last but not least is, to who’s standard is all the work going to be by. BPI, Resnet, the individual state through it’s weatherization program and who is going to distribute the checks to the contractor or home owner. I understand in each state, the money will filter through the OEP, which by the way is already swamped with stimulus money and can’t keep up with that. There has been a report that MR. Decker posted about widespread Freud in Chicago.
Finally this will not be voted on until after the election and all the major players may be gone. If it does pass, only the major players in this business will be able to participate. IE, Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, Masco Home Improvements and any of the large regional insulation companies. They will be the only one’s who can afford to pay out that kind of money and wait to get paid. So, they will hire their own employees to complete the audits, and do the installs and unless your buying your products by the train load you won’t be able to compete.
There is a reason Obama is behind all this and had that photo opp. at home depot. It"s more big government. My suggestion is to jack the price of #2 fuel oil up to 4.50 per gallon and let the free market correct itself.