In an effort to further stimulate the economy while also working toward his goal of making the country more energy-efficient, President Obama proposed a new program this past Tuesday.
Although details remain unclear in regards to the new proposal, Steve Nadel, who is the director at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and who helped write the bill, reports that homeowners could receive up to $12,000 in rebates if they install energy-efficient appliances and insulation in their homes. Companies that specialize in renewable energy will also be eligible to receive funding through the program.
“[Energy efficiency] creates jobs, saves money for families, and reduces the pollution that threatens our environment,” President Obama is quoted as saying in a CNN Money article. http://money.cnn.com/2009/12/08/news/economy/president_energy/index.htm “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.”
Not only is the bill intended to help stimulate the economy by encouraging homeowners to make new purchases, it will also create jobs for private contractors who will be responsible for conducting home energy audits and installing the necessary equipment to make the homes more energy-efficient. According to the details that have been released so far, homeowners would be eligible to receive up to a 50% rebate on the purchase of big-ticket items such as heating systems, air conditioners, refrigerators, windows, washing machines and insulation. They will also be able to receive a rebate of up to 50% on the cost of installation, with the maximum allowable rebate for equipment and installation being $12,000.
At this point, no income restrictions have been placed on the bill, but some critics are concerned that the bill could potentially have the opposite effect of its intentions on the economy. For example, consumers who are already struggling to make their monthly bill payments may try to take advantage of the rebates, only to find themselves in even more debt. Or, they may simply choose not to pursue energy-efficient purchases, which means the bill will do nothing to help spur the economy. Nonetheless, supporters of the $10 billion bill maintain that the bill will help to further move the economy in the right direction while also helping homeowners decrease their energy bills by as much as 20%.
Details regarding how the bill would be administered are still unclear. Potential methods include assigning state agencies to oversee the program, providing the rebates directly to consumers or providing reimbursement through a tax credit.
About the Author:
Eric Bramlett is the broker & co-owner of One Source Realty. He helps people find Austin Homes for Sale, Austin Condos, and Steiner Ranch Homes for Sale. Eric actively blogs & guest blogs on a number of sites.