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Legislation Introduced in Congress for Retrofit of Existing Homes

Jun 27, 2019

All 31 Democratic members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have introduced an infrastructure package, the “Leading Infrastructure For Tomorrow’s America Act”, or LIFT America Act, that is aimed at rebuilding America through investments in combating climate change, expanding broadband access and protecting public health and the environment.  The legislation authorizes over $33 billion for clean energy investments including $1.5 billion for energy efficiency efforts – namely retrofitting and weatherizing buildings, including schools and homes.

Part Seven of the legislation is the “Home Owner Managing Energy Savings Act of 2019’’ or the ‘‘HOMES Act’’. The proposed rebate program offers a rebate of $2,500 to participating homeowners who retrofit their homes to save a projected 20% of energy use. A rebate of $5,000 would be offered for homes that are projected to reduce energy consumption by 40%.

The retrofit legislation requires quality assurance oversight of contractors completing the retrofit work.  RESNET accredited Quality Assurance Providers are among the entities recognized to complete this oversight.  In addition, the calculated energy savings must be calculated by a software program certified by RESNET as following the software verification test suites in section 4.2.1 of RESNET Publication No. 13–001.

The legislation can be viewed at Lift America Act

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) commented on the legislation, “We cannot wait any longer to act on climate or to modernize our nation’s aging infrastructure. The LIFT America Act makes significant investments in rebuilding our country and takes an important step in combating the climate crisis by moving us towards a clean energy future and reducing our carbon emissions.”

The LIFT America Act is sponsored by the following Energy and Commerce Committee members:  Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Eliot Engel (D-NY), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), John Sarbanes (D-MD), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Paul Tonko (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), Scott Peters (D-CA), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Marc Veasey (D-TX), Annie Kuster (D-NH), Robin Kelly (D-IL), Nanette Barragán (D-CA), Donald McEachin (D-VA), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Darren Soto (D-FL) and Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ).

In order to become law, the legislation must pass the full House, the Senate and be signed by the President.

RESNET has posted a public policy tool kit to assist its network to be effective in having its voice heard in Congress. To download the free tool kit go to RESNET Policy Advocacy Tool Kit