Saving Families Money, Creating Good-Paying Jobs, Reducing Pollution
On March 10, 2010, a bipartisan coalition of Senate and House Members were joined by rural electric cooperatives and energy industry leaders to introduce legislation establishing a Rural Energy Savings Program (RESP), or “Rural Star,” to create jobs, save American families and businesses money on their electric bills, and reduce air pollution. The legislation (H.R. 4785 in the House) is estimated to create 20,000 to 40,000 jobs a year.
The Rural Energy Savings Program Act provides loans to American families, small businesses and farmers in rural communities to renovate their homes, farms or businesses to become more energy-efficient. These programs will offer loans of about $3,000 to $7,500 to eliminate the upfront cost of home energy upgrades, which customers will then repay over 10 years on their electric bill. The energy savings from the renovations will cover most of the cost of the loan. The program will boost demand for energy efficient products, materials, and construction and installation services that are made in America—over 90 percent of these products and materials—caulking, insulation, HVAC systems, hot water heaters, sealant, windows, doors other structural materials—are made in America.
On September 16, 2010 the House approved HR 4785 by a bipartisan vote of 240 to 172. The bill was amended to include the Home Star energy efficiency loan program administered through the Department of Energy.