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Speaker Calls on U.S. Senate to Pass President’s HOMESTAR Program

SACRAMENTO – California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) lauded today’s Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee approval of AB 2614, legislation he authored to facilitate the job-creating federal HOMESTAR energy efficiency rebate program now being considered in the U.S. Senate. Additionally, Pérez urged swift approval of the HOMESTAR program in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

“In his State of the Union address the President outlined how HOMESTAR would revitalize the construction industry, help small businesses, and support manufacturing – all of which have tremendous job creating potential,” Pérez said in the letter. “We are also moving forward to ensure our state is properly positioned to implement the HOMESTAR program as soon as it becomes law.  In fact, I am pleased to share with you that my Assembly Bill 2614 is moving through the legislative process with strong bipartisan support.”

AB 2614 would direct the California Energy Commission (CEC) to work with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a program involving numerous stakeholders to provide accountability and ensure that the projected energy savings are realized.

HOMESTAR is expected to provide for 50% rebates of up to $1500 for simple energy efficiency upgrades and 50% rebates of up to $3000 for more comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits. Additionally, HOMESTAR is expected to:

  • Save participating homeowners an average of between $200 - $500 per year in energy costs
  • Create 168,000 jobs in skilled construction and manufacturing, two of the hardest hit sectors during the U.S. economic downturn Invest $6 billion in the form of consumer rebates to be matched by private investment
  • Help over three million American families to retrofit their houses to increase energy efficiency  and save them as much as $9.5 billion in energy costs over 10 years
  • Remove the equivalent of 165,000 cars  from the road or four 300 megawatt power plants form operation
  • Dedicate $200 million to provide access to low interest financing
  • Use a majority of manufactured goods made in the U.S., averaging well over 90 percent domestic production

The HOMESTAR effort comes on top of recent passage of state legislation to help California become more energy efficient. AB 758 (Skinner) requires the CEC to develop and implement a comprehensive program to achieve greater energy savings in existing residential and commercial buildings by using energy audits, energy efficiency improvements, financing options, and green workforce training. SB 77 (Pavley) requires the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority to establish a Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Reserve program to assist local jurisdictions in financing the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy or water efficiency improvements meeting specified requirements that are permanently affixed on real property through the use of a voluntary contractual assessment.

Click here to view the full letter from the Speaker to Reid.

Website of Speaker John A. Pérez:

CONTACT: Shannon Murphy (916) 319-2408