The economy, the fiscal cliff, sequestration, and energy independence are just a few of the issues facing the winners of the 2012 election. But, as one of Washington’s leading pundits recently stated, “This isn’t the first critical election where the stakes are high, and it won’t be the last.”
The HVACR industry continues to introduce new technologies — and build upon existing technologies — that provide opportunities to improve energy efficiency. While new federal legislation hasn’t helped spur deployment of such technologies, state and local initiatives are moving ahead.
As concerns about national security, economic growth, and environmental standards propagate, energy efficiency is no longer an option. The search for solutions to limited fossil fuel supplies, ever-increasing energy prices, and global warming has reached a new urgency.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Home STAR legislation, which will invest $6 billion in a rebate program for homeowners who perform energy-efficiency upgrades. Meanwhile, a parallel bill is being considered, called Building STAR. Passage of a comprehensive energy/climate bill in 2010 remains uncertain.
Congressional leaders have introduced two bills - Home STAR and Building STAR - that use short-term rebates to promote energy efficiency. Each of these programs is expected to create a minimum 150,000 jobs, many of them in the hard-hit construction sector and in related industries, including HVAC.