Welch’s Home Star program included in Senate energy bill PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 08:15

A scaled-back energy bill unveiled late yesterday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) includes Rep. Peter Welch's Home Star Energy Retrofit Act (H.R. 5019).

Passed by the House in May, the bipartisan Home Star program would create 170,000 jobs by helping three million families refit, renovate and insulate their homes. The two-year program provides direct incentives to consumers who install American-made, energy-saving products and conduct whole-home retrofits

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Reid's announcement comes after the Senate was unable to reach an agreement on a comprehensive energy and climate bill. Last May, the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), which also included energy efficiency retrofit language authored by Welch.

In addition to creating the Home Star program, Reid's new bill would raise the spill-liability cap for oil companies, provide tax breaks for natural gas vehicles and increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

"Home Star's inclusion in Sen. Reid's energy bill is a momentous step forward for this vital, job-creating program," Welch said. "As Vermont has shown, energy efficiency retrofits work. They create quality jobs, save homeowners money on their energy bills and reduce harmful carbon emissions. This bipartisan program has tremendous potential to support our economy and support our climate."

Sens. Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders are cosponsors of the Senate version of Home Star. A member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sanders worked to include Home Star in Reid’s energy package.

The Senate is expected to take up Reid's bill in the next two weeks.

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