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Caulk it up! Home star energy retrofit act headed to Senate

Cash for Caulkers was in the House

It passed with flying colors and it is now headed to the Senate Floor.  I have referenced this program before but  through the legislative process, it continues to evolve and a clearer understanding of how it will be structured and implemented is beginning to emerge.   What is it you ask?  Cuz like seriously, caulk seems a little extreme to spend a whole post promoting.

A Little Background

Cash for Caulkers is the street name for the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act.  This act was pitched to the public in December of last year by the Obama administration.  It  is intended to conserve energy, put contractors and factory workers who will install and manufacture efficient products back to work,  and save  homeowners money on their utility bills.   Win, win, win – my favorite kind of deal.

Why do I keep bringing it up?

In 2007 I put new Energy Star windows in my house and received my whopping tax credit of $50.  In the fall of 2008, the total amount you could qualify for in energy efficient improvement credits improved substantially to 30% up to $1500. If you spent 5k on an approved appliance, windows, insulation, etc, you could receive a credit on your tax return for $1500.    That credit is set to expire at the end of this year.

If this new legislation passes, homeowners can see a whopping 50% in rebates (not credit so you don’t have to wait on it) up to 8k if they are willing to improve the efficiency of their homes by more than 20%.  They can expect to see 3k if they get an energy audit and use certified contractors to get the work of their choosing done that improves their homes efficiency by 20%.  Heck, you can get $250 for just walking around with a caulk gun and sealing up some cracks on your own – Caulk it Up!!  It also applies to the labor costs for installing the products not just the products themselves which is why it can and will create jobs and a key difference in how the current credits are structured.

Should Realtors Care?

I think so.  In my first AG Post I referenced the now expired tax credit and reminded you all that we are all going to have to find a new thing to peddle on our Facebook status updates.   There appears to be some financing options affiliated with this as well.  Couple that with the growing popularity of Energy Efficient Mortgages,  the passing of this Bill could be a game changer in how buyers evaluate homes they want to purchase and who they use to represent them.  In addition, it’s a wonderful topic to share with your warm market and past clients.

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What Now?

It is now headed to the Senate with some tough opposition about how to fund the 6 billion price tag.   I hope that both sides of the aisle can find a way to create a program that is fiscally responsible but beneficial for the environment and for homeowners who have had a tough couple of years.  I suspect it will take some time before it lands in the hands of the White House but hopefully by this fall we will be armed with caulk guns and a new stimulus program to promote.

Written By

Anna Altic – Village Real Estate Services. I’ve called Nashville home for the last 15 years and have been practicing (practice being the key word here) real estate for just over 6 years. In the fall of 2007, I went to a local German Festival that had a home tour, including a LEED certified property, and I instantly became enamored with the idea of eco friendly living (ok, so I’d had a little beer and the dual flush toilet rocked my world). I have since devoted much of my time and energies in to studying and espousing the benefits of better building technology within our local residential market and my proudest accomplishment thus far has been successfully leading the initiative to get over 25 green features added to our MLS search fields.



  1. Fred Romano

    May 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    This is just nonsense – The government needs to STOP spending OUR tax money on foolish initiatives and focus on reducing our national debt, creating jobs (through small business incentives), and cutting needless government spending.

  2. Anna Altic

    May 14, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    @agentgenius Caulk it Up! My new article on Cash for Caulkers.

  3. kristin terry

    May 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Caulk it Up!: Cash for Caulkers was in the House
    It passed with flying colors and it is now headed to the Senate F…

  4. Real Estate Ninja

    May 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Caulk it Up!

  5. Nelbee

    May 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Caulk it Up! @AgentGenius

  6. Joe

    May 14, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    As a former painting and building contractor, this is good news. If the government is going to spend money, it needs to be on policies that will ultimately create jobs, and consequently, bring taxes back into the government’s coffers. At least this way, future tax increases will be stymied.

  7. RealEstate Babble

    May 14, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    AgentGenius: Caulk it up! Home star energy retrofit act headed to Senate Full

  8. Real Estate Feeds

    May 14, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    Caulk it up! Home star energy retrofit act headed to Senate: Cash for Caulkers was in the House
    It passed with fl…

  9. Lynn Taylor

    June 18, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    RT @AnnaAltic: @agentgenius Caulk it Up! My new article on Cash for Caulkers.

  10. Real Estate HQ

    June 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    RT @AnnaAltic: @agentgenius Caulk it Up! My new article on Cash for Caulkers.: RT @AnnaAltic:…

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