HOMES Act Introduced In House

On May 23, Representatives Dave McKinley (R-WV) and Peter Welch (D-Verm.) introduced the Home Owner Managing Energy Savings Act of 2013 (HOMES) that would authorize a significant new federal incentive for making energy efficient retrofit improvements to existing single family and some multifamily dwellings.

The legislation specifically endorses contractors accredited by ACCA’s Quality Assurance programs as eligible to perform the qualified retrofit jobs.

The HOMES Act would create the Home Energy Saving Retrofit Rebate Program to provide a rebate to homeowners who make qualified improvement to their homes based on the resulting energy savings. Improvements that result in at least 20 percent energy savings would earn a $2,000 rebate. For every 5 percent in additional energy savings, the homeowner can receive another $1,000 – up to a total of $8,000 or 50 percent of the project’s cost. A variety of improvements are eligible under the HOMES Act, including qualified HVAC appliances, doors, windows, insulation, or other home improvements to lower energy costs.

In order to ensure the rebate dollars are used wisely, contractors who perform work eligible for the rebate program must be accredited by ACCA as a QA Home Performance Contractor, RESNET as an Energy Smart Home Performance Team, or accredited through the Building Performance Institute (BPI). They must also employ technicians certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE), ACCA, RESNET, BPI, the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), or a regional weatherization program; and they must carry at least $1 million in general liability insurance, and abide by all manufacturers installation requirements.

“ACCA applauds the efforts of Representatives McKinley and Welch in introducing this legislation,” said Paul T. Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO. “This rebate program will help create jobs, save energy, improve indoor air quality, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”

The Home Energy Saving Retrofit Rebate Program would require a home energy audit to precede any retrofit work. The audit would set the energy use baseline and present the opportunity to consider all possible retrofit options. Once the retrofit work is completed and verified, rebates would be awarded based on modeled energy savings. The program has a rigorous quality assurance component. The first ten retrofit jobs performed by a qualified contractor under the program are verified, with 60% of jobs verified thereafter.

“More and more Americans are realizing that energy efficient retrofits financed or incentivized with public funds must be done right,” continues Stalknecht. “The HVAC equipment, the largest energy user in any household, must be sized properly and installed correctly in order achieve the intended results. Contractors accredited through the ACCA Quality Assurance program can help homeowners find greater energy savings with new, high efficiency HVAC equipment that eventually save enough money to pay for themselves.”

The legislation would authorize $500,000,000 to be allocated annually in fiscal years 2014-2017. Rebates would be paid directly to the homeowner through a rebate aggregator and after quality assurance checks are made.

The HOMES Act was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee.

 

How Efficient is Your Home?

The Home Energy Yardstick is a basic performance-based home assessment that looks at the actual energy use of your home (based on your last 12 months of utility bills) compared to that of similar homes. To ensure that homes across the country can be properly compared, the Yardstick uses a statistical algorithm to take into account the effects of local weather, home size, and number of occupants on your home’s energy use.

A home that scores a ’10’ on the Yardstick scale used less energy over the last 12 months and performed well compared to its peers; while a home that scores a ‘1’ used more energy and performed poorly compared to its peers.

You can increase your Yardstick score by improving the energy efficiency of the features and/or equipment of your home or by making changes in the way you operate your home to use less energy. You can revisit the Yardstick each month (when your bills arrive) to see the impacts of the energy efficient improvements you make to your home or changes in the way you operate it.

The Home Energy Yardstick is not meant to replace a home energy audit conducted by a professional. The best way to assess the root causes of high energy bills or uncomfortable spaces is to have a home energy professional assess your home.

See how your home scores!

 

Sanuvox SR+

On April 15th, 2013 Sanuvox Technologies Inc. will be releasing the all new cost effective

SR+ In-Duct UV Air Treatment System designed to treat residential applications up to 2,000sq.ft.

Homeowners and builders are forced to seal their homes to save energy and resources by not having to reheat and re-cool the air. A major disadvantage to this is not being able to bring in enough fresh outside air to lower the concentrations of contaminants within the home. The Sanuvox SR+UV system is the ideal solution to compliment a home’s filtration system by addressing the thousands of biological & chemical contaminants that pass through even the highest efficiency filter.

According to Aaron Engel, Sanuvox Vice-President Marketing, “We have seen stellar growth with our premium R+ UV Air Treatment System over the last few years; the R+ was almost 20 years in the making bringing innovative features such as improved efficiency, installation, ease of troubleshooting and maintenance to market. From our perspective, we were missing an entry level unit with the same premium features.” Aaron Engel goes onto say “The SR+ brings many of the features that made the R+ so innovative but at a more affordable price point for those installers who service smaller homes up to 2,000sq.ft.”

The SR+ employs Sanuvox’s proprietary UV process to effectively destroy airborne viruses, bacteria, mold, chemicals, VOCs and odors that continually circulate within the home’s HVAC system and building in concentration within the home’s envelope. Installation requires approximately 20 minutes as the unit is plug-and-play and relies on a microprocessor controlled sensor for automatic operation.

The SR+ will be readily available at leading HVAC Wholesalers across the United States and Canada beginning April 15th 2013.

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