The Home Star bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives back in May, has been sitting around gathering dust in the Senate. But late last week, Senate leaders announced it may be included in a new energy bill, and suddenly Home Star is hot again.

There isn’t much time right now for the Senate to pass Home Star - all 100 of our senators go on their summer recess next Friday, Aug. 6. But right now Home Star is a hot topic on the Hill - and that means that the bill’s merits are being fiercely debated.

I’ve previously written about whether the bill excludes too many HVAC contractors with its accreditation requirements. Click here to read:www.achrnews.com/Articles/Feature_Article/BNP_GUID_9-5-2006_A_10000000000000836166.

Another debate concerns the bill’s basic rebate structure. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) has stated that the House version of the bill is better than the Senate version because it ultimately sends the rebate to the consumer, not to the contractor. In a letter to the Senate, ACCA stated, “the most efficient and effective way to offer a rebate program to homeowners is to pay the homeowner, and not require a small business contractor to float a loan it can ill afford for a lengthy period of time.”

Click here to read the entire letter: www.acca.org/press/news.php?id=323.

As the debate heats up, we’ll continue to cover it here atThe NEWS.