Benefits & Incentives
State and federal policies can have an immediate impact on the adoption of
energy efficient products, technologies and services.
In 2009, McKinsey & Company reported that an investment of $520 billion
in energy efficiency improvements in the United States could save $1.2 trillion
in energy costs through 2020.
Dollars for Dishwashers
Programs that encourage the replacement of aging appliances such as DOE’s
“dollars for dishwashers” program, which has distributed $300 million of
federal stimulus money to states providing consumer rebates for purchase of
energy-efficient appliances, should be continued and expanded, as they have an
immediate impact on saving energy and costs.
The flexibility of these types of programs enables states to tailor the
rebates based on the types of appliances that are most used by consumers. For
example, California offers rebates for washing machines, refrigerators and
in-room air conditioners, whereas Michigan offers rebates on large appliances
such as furnaces and water heaters.
Home Star and Building Star Programs
In May 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to create
Home Star, a home energy efficiency improvement retrofit rebate program which
would give consumers, through accredited and qualified construction
contractors, up to $1,500 per improvement, with a rebate of up to $3,000 or 50
percent of the total project cost; the program is capped at $6.6 billion.
Legislation for the federal “Building Star” program is under consideration.
This program promotes the installation of energy- efficient renovations in
commercial and multi-family residential buildings through a package of
incentives designed to scale up energy efficiency retrofits and create jobs on
a large scale.
These two programs enable building owners to have the flexibility to utilize
the incentives that best meets their needs. Additionally, the rebate program
sets efficiency standards for qualifying equipment and services, and it is
estimated that rebate levels will spur $2-3 of private investment in retrofits
for every public dollar invested.