Home Star: Overview of the Green Jobs Stimulus

Thu, 2010-02-11 11:21

I just participated in the “HOME STAR overview and call to action” presentation by Patrick Roche, chairman of the industry trade association Efficiency First. Efficiency First is a relatively new (12-13 Month Old) trade association and political action organization for the home performance contractors.  The main point of this call was to spin up the industry to gain momentum behind the Home Star program.


So what is Home Star?  Well, it is a program meant to compliment Energy Star, except it focuses on residential energy efficiency. As the program is current structured, there will be two levels:



Silver Star - Prescriptive approach that is fast to market and simple to deploy. Licensed contractor is sufficient.

Gold Star - Predictive savings of 20% or greater and requires analysis and work must be performed by BPI Accredited Companies.

A large percentage of the funding will be reserved for the Gold Star level.  This is a great opportunity for residential contractors, handy men, home inspectors, realtors, home owners, and anyone else involved with home repairs.  The BPI Accreditation requirement is meant to ensure that quality work is done.  Besides the R-value of insulation or air sealing material used, the quality of install greatly affects a home’s energy efficiency and BPI training teaches contractors what right looks like and how to test it.
So where did Home Star Originate?  It actually grew out of four programs (listed below) and the real push behind it is the new job focus in Washington, DC.  HOME STAR meant to be short term non-outsourceable  jobs program used to jump start a whole new energy efficiency industry.  A statistic mentioned is that over 90% of residential construction materials are manufactured in the United States.  So by focusing on residential energy efficiency, not only do we reduce our energy needs, we also stimulate American manufacturing.  The Home Star program is supported by many companies and non-profits such as Home Depot, Lowes Dow, GE Appliances, MASCO, etc and BPI, USGBC, Sierra Club (Note: List was missing is RESNET but he mentions it), etc.
REEP - Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance
Recovery Through Retrofit - Combining HOME STAR with financing and industry standards
PACE Financing - Allows municipalities to create special tax districts to finance home improvements over 5, 10, and 20 years
ARRA Investments - Using training infrastructure and Create jobs for WAP workers as ARRA funds wind down
This program is pretty exciting and should have a great impact on both the countries unemployment and our energy efficiency. If you are interested in getting ahead of this opportunity, we recommend starting with the BPI Building Analyst Training and Certification.