Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cash For Caulkers, Carpet For Energy-Saving: Homeowners Benefit

Cash For Caulkers (Homestar Bill) is Back

Cash for Caulkers" Set to Give Environmentally-Responsible Homeowners a Break: Carpet's Energy-Saving Benefits Contribute to Tax Credit for Homeowners. Could Save Carpet Industry Jobs in the Bargain.

If you have been thinking about putting in a more efficient heat pump or adding another layer of insulation, now could be the time to do it, if legislation establishing a new federal program that gives homeowners tax credits for making energy-efficient home improvements passes . The legislation, called the Home Star program, has passed the U.S. House of Representatives and similar bills are pending in the Senate. The program is supported by President Obama and has been playfully called "Cash for Caulkers" in homage to Obama's earlier "Cash for Clunkers" auto industry stimulus.

Carpet is a natural fit for the Home Star program, as it has long been recognized as the only floor covering to measurably improve the R value (thermal resistance) of floors. The R-value measures how much a material resists the movement of heat through a ceiling, wall, or floor in a building. The higher the number, the more effective the insulation. Recent research conducted at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as independent scientific studies, have demonstrated that carpet increases the R-value, or insulation level, of the carpeted area, compared to other flooring materials.

"Under the Home Star bill, carpet would help homeowners qualify for the highest-level "Gold Star" $3000 tax credit reserved for renovations that result in an overall 20 percent energy savings," said Carpet and Rug Institute Vice-President Frank Hurd.

For the carpet industry, “Cash for Caulkers” could give a sorely-needed boost to sales that might enable manufacturers to hire (or rehire) new or laid-off workers. In light of that, the Carpet and Rug Institute, on behalf of the entire industry, sent a letter of support to leaders in the Senate, urging them to pass the legislation. The letter reads, in part:

“By providing significant and immediate rebates for home energy-efficiency retrofits, the Home Star program would spur much-needed consumer demand for energy-efficient products and building materials and quickly create jobs in the manufacturing and distribution of these products. Carpet has an R value as high as 2.4 and would reduce the energy consumption in the home

American manufacturers are committed to producing more energy-efficient consumer products for residential use. With more than half of the 86 million single-family homes throughout the United States constructed before modern codes even existed, the vast majority of U.S. homes are not well insulated, have outdated heating and cooling systems, have inefficient windows and doors and are great candidates for energy-efficiency upgrades.

CRI believes that S. 3434 will improve the energy efficiency of American homes while increasing employment in the U.S. home construction, renovation and manufacturing industries. The carpet industry, however, can recover quickly as it operates with very low inventory levels and as such the recovery will significantly increase jobs downstream quickly. We urge you to support quick action on this important initiative and include carpet.


Werner H. Braun                                      Ralph J. Boe
President                                                  Chairman”

Thank you, Werner and Ralph, for taking this important step.


Note: Here is a link to the letter supporting S. 3434 sent to leaders of the Senate.

Image Credit: The image above comes from Cash For Caulkers (Homestar Bill) is Back on The Moonworks Home Improvement Blog.


dc_darryl said...

Hey, this is an exciting bit of news. I've noticed how other programs have helped local home product sales and installation companies (i.e. windows, doors, siding, roofing). It sure would be great to experience the impact of government support program. I come from the asbestos consulting and abatement world. I know first hand how legislation can through big life into an industry. Carpet Cleaning Columbus

Bethany said...

Thanks for your encouragement on this issue - have you downloaded the letter to forward to your own representatives? We still have to let our voices be heard in order for it to go forward.
Good to hear from you -

amanation said...

In this blog we rad that Carpet is Known as natural fit for the Home Star program and it has long been recognized as the only floor covering to measurably improve the R value.{R-value]/[unit thickness], which is a property of the material.It measures how much a material resists the movement of heat through a ceiling, wall, or floor in a building. The higher the number, the more effective the insulation.

Bethany Richmond said...

Hello Amanation,
So you are saying I am using the term R value incorrectly? It sounds like from your description I should say carpet has a higher R value than other flooring types - is this correct?

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