Rules for Cash for Caulkers

Wondering what the rules for Cash for Caulkers will be? While the legislation has yet to be finalized, the proposed plan follows a similar model to the popular Cash for Clunkers program of 2009. Cash for Caulkers, formally titled Homestar, is part of a jobs program being considered on Capital Hill for implementation in 2010. This program would use stimulus package money to encourage homeowners to undertake weatherization projects in exchange for cash rewards. If you're planning or considering a home improvement project in 2010, it's worth your time to learn about the details to see if you'll qualify.

Here's a quick guide to what rules might be contained in the Homestar program:

Incentive Projects Would Have to Meet Requirements
Every weatherization project that would qualify for the cash for caulkers program would have to meet specific requirements detailed by the government. The current idea is to provide a Homestar-approved list of weatherization projects. The projects described would have to result in significant and proven energy savings in order to qualify.

Incentive Payments Would Have Limitations
Homeowners would be limited by several factors. They could be compensated for up to but not any more than 50% of costs incurred for approved weatherization projects. If homeowners complete two of the approved weatherization projects on the Homestar list, they will be eligible for up to $2,000 in incentive money. Homeowners that complete four of the approved projects will be eligible for up to $3,500 in incentive payments. Homeowners who undertake a major weatherization project resulting in energy savings of at least 20% will be eligible for the maximum payments of $4,000.

Government Audits Would Prevent Abuses
Auditors employed by the government would audit at least a portion if not all of the weatherization projects undertaken. In cases where improvements were questionable, homeowners would have to prove compliance to guidelines in order to qualify for incentive money. Money from the stimulus package would be designated to pay for auditors in order to prevent fraudulent claims.

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Wondering what the cash for caulkers qualifications will be? Although the legislation is still making its way through Congress, there are some existing programs that offer a strong indication of how the final plan will work.

What is Cash for Caulkers? Like Cash for Clunkers, this program aims to stimulate the economy by providing cash incentives for people to make changes that will reduce their energy consumption.

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