White House Includes Low-cost Financing in Energy Efficiency Program after Push from Merkley

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Barack Obama visited Savannah, GA today to announce his support for a job-creating energy efficiency program that includes a financing program, as recommended by Senator Jeff Merkley.  In December, Merkley wrote to the President urging him to allow families to pay for energy-efficient renovations with low-cost loans that can be paid back out of savings on monthly energy bills.

“In his comments today, President Obama demonstrated that he understands this program is a slam dunk for job creation and an assist in the effort to increase American energy independence,” Merkley said.  “I’m pleased the President heard my call to allow families to use the money saved on their energy bills to pay back the upfront costs that accompany these kinds of renovations.  ‘Home Star’ and other energy-efficiency programs like it have bipartisan support and I’m looking forward to working with my teammates from both parties to assist American families with these energy-saving renovations right away.”

“Home Star” would give homeowners rebates of up to 50 percent at the point of sale for upgrades like insulation, duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing and doors.  
The financing component of “Home Star” was first put forward when Merkley and Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) introduced the Consumer and Business Clean Energy Financing Act of 2009.