Yesterday, Obama announced new details of this HOMESTAR program, which the White House says would result in job creation, substantial reductions in energy use, and between $200-$500 savings per year for homeowners.Details of Obama's proposal include:
• Point-of-sale rebates: Like the Cash for Clunkers program, consumers would be eligible for rebates at the point of sale, including independent dealers and large national chains.
• Silver Star rebates: Rebates for 50% of the cost (up to $1,000-$1,500) for simple upgrades such as insulation, duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing, and doors.
• Gold Star rebates: $3,000 rebates for whole home energy audits and subsequent retrofits to achieve 20% energy savings.
The program would also include quality assurance measures like field audits, as well as support to state and local governments to provide financing options for consumers. If passed by Congress, HOMESTAR is expected to cost about $6 billion and include about 3 million participating households.
For more information, see the White House press release: Fact Sheet: Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program.
And if you'd like to urge your Congress members to approve the program, About.com's Letters to Congress guide has plenty of good tips.