From CNN MONEY:
President Obama proposed a new program Tuesday that would reimburse homeowners for energy-efficient appliances and insulation, part of a broader plan to stimulate the economy.
The administration didn’t provide immediate details, but said it would work with Congress on crafting legislation. Steve Nadel, director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, who’s advising on the bill, said a homeowner could receive up to $12,000 in rebates.
We know energy efficiency “creates jobs, saves money for families, and reduces the pollution that threatens our environment,” Obama said. “With additional resources, in areas like advanced manufacturing of wind turbines and solar panels, for instance, we can help turn good ideas into good private-sector jobs.”
The program contains two parts: money for homeowners for efficiency projects, and money for companies in the renewable energy and efficiency space.
The plan will likely create a new program where private contractors conduct home energy audits, buy the necessary gear and install it, according to a staffer on the Senate Energy Committee and Nadel at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
Big-ticket items like air conditioners, heating systems, washing machines, refrigerators, windows and insulation would likely be covered, Nadel said.
Based on earlier bills, consumers might be eligible for a 50% rebate on both the price of the equipment and the installation, up to $12,000, said Nadel. So far, there is no income restriction on who is eligible. That would mean a household could spend as much as $24,000 on upgrades and get half back.
Homes that take full advantage of the program could see their energy bills drop as much as 20%, he said. The program is expected to cost in the $10 billion range.
The “Government-approved” washer and dryer combo: