On May 6th, 2010, the House of Representatives passed the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act. nicknamed "Cash for Caulkers". The bill has generated a fair amount of partisan controversy, as the cost is $5.7 billion dollars over two years. According to the Cash for Caulkers blog, Senator Harry Reid will present the bill today July 28, 2010, hoping to get the bill passed before the summer recess in August.
The act "is a common-sense bill that will create jobs, save consumers money, and strengthen our economy," President Obama said after the House passed the measure. "We have workers eager to do new installations and renovations, and factories ready to produce new energy-efficient building supplies."
The program will result in the creation of tens of thousands of jobs while achieving substantial reductions in energy use – the equivalent of the entire output of three coal-fired power plants each year. Consumers in the program are anticipated to save between $200 - $500 per year in energy costs, while improving the comfort and value of their homes. Homeowners planning summer improvement projects including replacement windows and doors, window film installation, caulking air leaks, replacing furnace or air conditioners may be eligible for rebates.