The Building Performance Institute (BPI) recently applauded a proposed nationwide residential energy efficiency retrofit program called HOME STAR.

As you may know, BPI is the nation's premier building performance credentialing, quality assurance, and national standards setting organization. CleanEdison is a member of the Institute and our instructors are BPI certified/credentialed.

BPI supports the development of a highly professional building performance industry through individual and organizational credentialing and a rigorous quality assurance program.

Called 'Cash for Caulkers,' like the “Cash for Clunkers” auto program, HOME STAR is designed to encourage homeowners to weatherize their homes in order to create more than 500,000 new jobs. Venture capitalist John Doerr presented the program at a meeting of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) on Nov. 2, 2009. The plan is now under consideration by the White House, according to statements made by Rahm Emanuel, President Obama's chief of staff, to the New York Times.

According to David Hepinstall, chairman of BPI, the nationwide unemployment rate is at 10 percent, but the construction industry is one of the hardest hit at 17 percent.

“The need to install energy efficiency improvement tactics on 5.9 million homes will bring people back to work," said Hepinstall. "Struggling contracting companies can transition their business model or a portion of their business completely into weatherization services, including whole-home energy audits and the development of work scopes for energy retrofit improvements, or with appropriate training and certification, begin to incorporate some weatherization improvement measures into their existing areas of expertise."

As I‘ve written before, this is the green revolution and you can be a big part of it if you‘re trained to do this kind of work. To learn more about how to get training at CleanEdison go here:

The proposed “Cash for Caulkers” program would provide $23 billion in funding: $18 billion for homeowner incentives, $2 billion for quality assurance audits on efficiency projects and $3 billion for retailer incentives and awareness-building activities.

The program also represents a massive opportunity for existing home performance professionals. Like those trained by CleanEdison.

The increased demand for energy efficiency retrofits that HOME STAR is expected to generate across the country will help existing home performance contractors build their businesses and accelerate their return on investment from their training and certification.

"They'll be leading this initiative because they already have the skills, knowledge and experience they need to do the work and do it right," says Hepinstall.

Sounds great, IF you‘re trained.

The proposed HOME STAR program also supports the Obama Administration's environmental goals, complementing the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program and legislation in the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. Homes contribute 21% of America's total greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency retrofits can reduce a home's energy consumption by as much as 40%, saving considerable greenhouse gas emissions. These deep energy savings will also help to protect American families from volatile energy prices and supply issues.

So, get started and get trained at CleanEdison. You won‘t just be helping yourself, you‘ll be helping your fellow Americans do what they‘re desperately looking to do during this economic downturn (and always)--save money!