Dear Mr. Energy,
What’s this I hear about Cash for Caulkers? I know you’re probably excited about it, because it will mean business for you, but what does it do for me? Seems like the government is just throwing money down the drain.
–Disgruntled in Durham
My, my, sounds like someone has low blood sugar. No need to be so upset! Cash for Caulkers, or Home Star, or HR 5019, or S 3177, will be very beneficial to consumers, if it passes. While it will definitely benefit companies like Mr. Energy’s – after all, we conduct energy audits and are a full service weatherization company, which is exactly the kind of business that will be able to add employees and expand once the program hits — it equally benefits everyone who pays an energy bill .
Basically, Cash for Caulkers is designed to stimulate consumer demand for exactly what Mr. Energy is always telling you about: energy audits and weatherization. It will do this by offering direct rebates to consumers for qualifying home improvements. There will be two types of incentive: a “silver star” program, where consumers get rebates for things like air sealing, insulation, duct sealing or replacement, insulation, energy efficient appliances and windows, and a “gold star” level, which is a plan more tailored to individual houses, and includes a comprehensive energy audit that lays out a plan of action. People who achieve “gold star” are going for overall increased energy efficiency, and the financial incentives are greater as long as the homeowner increases his/her home’s energy efficiency by up to 20%, with additional incentives for greater increase.
Here’s why this is fantastic news for consumers: Mr. Energy has already told you how an energy audit and subsequent weatherization pays for itself in just a few years. This will make it pay for itself much quicker! A super-fast return on your investment.
As for the government, Mr. Energy makes it a policy to stay out politics, at least publicly. It is not his job to run the country, thank goodness! Bottom line: Mr. Energy thinks this is a worthwhile piece of legislation. He will be able to hire more workers and help everyone in the greater Triangle area save energy and money. And you, sir , can be one of them.