Cash for Caulkers Clears the House

Buildings are the largest source of greenhouse gases in America, and a big part of their impact comes from just keeping them the right temperature. But in many homes, old appliances, air leaks, and other problems mean we waste a lot of energy (and money) doing it.

Yesterday, a bill was passed by House of Representatives that might help. The Home Star bill would provide a cash rebate when you buy stuff to make your house less wasteful, like insulation or energy-efficient windows. The program would also give people who undertake a full home energy audit $3,000 if they demonstrate energy savings of 20 percent, and another $1,000 for each additional 5 percent. Besides saving energy, this program would also help spur the economy and lower homeowners' bills. Supporters estimate it would save $9.2 billion over the next decade and create 168,000 jobs.

Now it just has to pass in the more stubborn Senate. Fingers crossed.

Image: Bad Season for Air Conditioning, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from carbonnyc's photostream