Homestar Set To Make a Splash

Homestar was a big topic of discussion at the recent RESNET conference. Duncan Prahl reports.
By By Duncan Prahl, IBACOS | February 28, 2010

I attended the RESNET conference in Raleigh, N.C., last month to keep up with what’s going on with the trade partners that provide certification to builders for Energy Star and green programs. The place was buzzing with talk of Homestar and energy labels for homes. Here are my takeaways from the conference:

  • The Homestar program could be huge, offering upwards of $5.1 billion in rebates for energy-efficiency retrofits on homes. It seems like a great opportunity for BPI-certified remodelers and small builders to offer past customers whole-house energy upgrades. Experts estimate that there are up to 15 million “natural” replacement events each year in the U.S. — stuff like failed HVAC systems, windows and siding.
  • Raters have a big opportunity to perform QA on Homestar projects, which could lead to a shortage for the new-construction market. Back-of-the-envelope numbers are in the 300,000 to 400,000 range in the next 12 to18 months.
  • RESNET is working with DOE on a variety of labeling schemes for homes, including online and in-home surveys, HERS ratings, diagnostic surveys and audits.
  • It looks like there will be two national home-performance companies: Masco Home Services and Green Homes America. Both companies are looking to partner with contractors and are providing franchise opportunities. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Lowe’s and Home Depot jump in the game soon as well.

Read more blog posts by Duncan Prahl here.