Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (05/06/2010)

Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 - Title I: Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program - (Sec. 101) Requires the Secretary of Energy (DOE) to: (1) establish the Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program to provide rebates to contractors to be passed through as discounts to homeowners who retrofit their homes to achieve energy savings; (2) establish a Federal Rebate Processing System to allow rebate aggregators to submit claims for reimbursement, quality assurance reports to be identified with the work for which rebates are claimed, and any Home Star loans to be linked to the work for which they are made; (3) establish a national retrofit website that provides information on the Program; and (4) develop model forms and data protocols for use by contractors, vendors, and quality assurance providers.

Requires a contractor, to be authorized to perform such retrofit work, to affirm in each Home Star rebate application submitted to a rebate aggregator that it meets specified requirements, including: (1) agreeing to pass through to the owner of a home, through a discount, the full economic value of all rebates received with respect to the home; and (2) certifying that no employee has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, a crime of child molestation, rape, or any other form of sexual assault.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) provide administrative and technical support to rebate aggregators and states; and (2) transmit to Congress a state-by-state analysis and review of the distribution of Home Star retrofit rebates.

Prohibits the Secretary from utilizing authority provided under this Act to: (1) develop, adopt, or implement a public labeling system that rates and compares the energy performance of one home with another; or (2) require the public disclosure of an energy performance evaluation or rating developed for any specific home.

Authorizes the Secretary to adjust the rebate amounts provided for under this Act to optimize the overall energy efficiency resulting from the Silver Star Home Energy Retrofit Program (Silver Star Program) and the Gold Star Home Energy Retrofit Program (Gold Star Program) established by this Act. Sets forth provisions concerning state and Indian tribe participation in the Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program.

Prohibits rebates from being provided under the Silver Star Program and the Gold Star Program with respect to the same home unless the energy savings measures installed pursuant to the Silver Star Program are excluded from the calculations performed for purposes of the Gold Star Program and the total amount of rebates paid for the home does not exceed the maximum rebate available pursuant to the Gold Star Home Energy Retrofit Program.

Encourages states that receive grants under this Act to form partnerships with utilities, energy service companies, and other entities to: (1) assist in marketing the Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program; (2) facilitate consumer financing; (3) assist in implementing the Silver Star Program and the Gold Star Program; and (4) assist in implementing quality assurance programs. Requires states, in carrying out rebate programs, to give priority to comprehensive retrofit programs in existence on this Act's enactment.

Requires the Secretary to establish and publicize a telephone hotline for contractors and homeowners to call to obtain information about the programs under this Act. Authorizes the Secretary to establish an online chat function through the website established for the Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program.

Requires the Secretary to ensure that a home in an area declared by the President under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act as an area affected by a major disaster is not denied assistance under the Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program solely because there is no equipment or system to replace due to the disaster.

Provides that homeowners with a gross annual household income of more than $250,000 shall not be eligible for a rebate.

(Sec. 2) Requires the Secretary to: (1) develop a network of rebate aggregators that can facilitate the delivery of rebates to reimburse homeowners for work provided by participating contractors and vendors for energy efficiency retrofit work; (2) identify a sufficient number of rebate aggregators in each state to ensure that rebate applications can be accepted from all qualified contractors; (3) ensure that rebate aggregation services are available to all homeowners at the lowest reasonable cost; and (4) develop guidelines for states to allow utilities participating as rebate aggregators to count the energy savings from their participation toward state-level energy saving targets. Sets forth eligibility criteria for, and responsibilities of, rebate aggregators.

(Sec. 103) Establishes: (1) a Silver Star Program to award rebates during the first year after this Act's enactment to reimburse homeowners for work provided by participating contractors and vendors for the installation of specified energy savings measures, including air-sealing and insulation measures, duct sealing or replacement, window, door, or skylight replacement, heating or cooling system replacement, water heater replacement, and window film replacement; and (2) a Gold Star Program to award rebates to reimburse homeowners for work provided by participating accredited contractors and vendors for retrofits that achieve whole home energy savings. Prescribes rebate amounts, including: (1) $1,000 per measure for the installation of energy savings measures, up to $3,000 per home, for Silver Star rebates; and (2) $3,000 for a 20% reduction in whole home energy consumption and an additional $1,000 for each additional 5% reduction, up to the lower of $8,000 per home or 50% of the total retrofit cost, for Gold Star rebates.

Sets forth provisions concerning: (1) verification by an independent quality assurance provider of all work associated with retrofits and corrective work that a provider finds is needed; (2) review of information submitted to the Federal Rebate Processing System and payments made for rebates; and (3) homeowner complaints under the quality assurance program.

Authorizes rebates to be provided under the Gold Star Program for any measure listed as eligible for Silver Star rebates and any other energy-saving measure that can be demonstrated to improve energy efficiency and for which an energy efficiency contribution can be determined with confidence. Requires the Secretary to monitor the software programs used for determining rebates under the Gold Star Program.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide up to .3% of the funding available for carrying out the Gold Star Program for need-based scholarships to individuals to enable them to qualify as accredited contractors.

Excludes the installation or replacement of pool heaters as energy savings measures for purposes of the Gold Star Program.

(Sec. 105) Requires states that elect to carry out a quality assurance program to plan, develop, and implement a quality assurance framework. Requires the Secretary to solicit the submission of model state quality assurance framework plans and approve model plans that incorporate nationally consistent high standards. Requires the Secretary to suspend grants for state administration of a quality assurance program if the state has failed to plan, develop, or implement a quality assurance framework in accordance with this Act. Authorizes a state to carry out a quality assurance program as part of a state energy conservation plan under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Authorizes the Secretary, if a sate has not provided adequate oversight over a quality assurance program, to withhold further quality assurance funds from the state and require such program to be overseen by a national quality assurance program manager. Authorizes a state that receives a grant under this Act to implement a quality assurance program through the state or an independent quality assurance provider designated by the state.

(Sec. 106) Requires the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on the Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program by December 31, 2012. Requires the Comptroller General to report to Congress on the results of a study of: (1) how much money can reasonably be estimated to be saved by American consumers, and how much energy can reasonably be estimated to be saved, as a result of the energy efficiency measures undertaken pursuant to this title; and (2) whether the savings from the energy efficiency measures undertaken pursuant to this title are greater than the cost of implementing it.

(Sec. 107) Requires the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on a study that describes: (1) the efficiency through the life-cycle of air conditioning and heat pump products eligible under the Silver Star Program; and (2) a comparison of the efficiency through the life-cycle of air conditioning and heat pump products eligible under such Program to the efficiency of such products not eligible.

(Sec. 108) Establishes civil penalties for violations of the Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program.

(Sec. 109) Authorizes appropriations for FY2010-FY2011 for the Home Star Retrofit Rebate Program. Provides for the distribution of funding. Provides that the Program will cease to be effective after December 31, 2012.

(Sec. 110) Requires the Secretary to report to specified congressional committees on a study of the effects of the energy savings measures made as a result of this Act on noise abatement.

Title II: Energy Efficient Manufactured and Modular Homes - (Sec. 201) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to state agencies responsible for developing state energy conservation plans to provide owners of manufactured homes constructed prior to 1976 funding to use to purchase new Energy Star qualified manufactured homes or new Energy Star qualified modular homes. Requires such grants to be distributed to states on the basis of their proportionate share of all such homes that are occupied as primary residences. Sets forth limitations on funding, including requiring: (1) recipients of funding to be owners of homes that have been used as primary residence on a year-round basis for at least the previous 12 months; (2) the manufactured home constructed prior to 1976 to be destroyed and replaced in an appropriate area with an Energy Star qualified manufactured home or Energy Star qualified modular home; (3) the total income of all members of the owner's household to not exceed 80% of the area median income in the applicable area; and (4) funding to not exceed $7,500 per manufactured home or modular home.

Authorizes appropriations for FY2010-FY2011.

Title III: Waste, Fraud, and Abuse - (Sec. 301) Requires DOE's Inspector General to report to Congress by July 1, 2012, on the amount of waste, fraud, and abuse occurring in programs created by this Act.

Title IV: Deficit Neutrality - (Sec. 401) Suspends this Act if it will have a negative net effect on the U.S. budget deficit.