June 24, 2020 – Washington, DC – The Building Performance Association actively supports the HOPE for HOMES Act of 2020, which includes immediate relief and long-term support for the residential energy efficiency contractor industry negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Introduced in the House and Senate on June 24, the bill has bipartisan support and offers a two-pronged approach to support online contractor training and fuel re-hiring while providing incentives to homeowners to invest in energy efficiencies in their homes.
Since the start of the pandemic, the energy efficiency sector has lost over 413,000 jobs with projections to lose many more if immediate action is not taken. HOPE for HOMES Act proposes $500 million to support online training for contractors, preparing them to significantly advance America’s existing home infrastructure through the $6 billion Home Energy Savings Rebate program.
“We need the HOPE for HOMES Act for immediate stimulus for our contractors to receive adequate training to revive the industry,” said Steve Skodak, CEO of Building Performance Association. “Providing accessible training for contractors on one side and incentive for homeowners to apply energy efficiencies to their home on the other creates a clear opportunity for everyone.”
Through the establishment of grants for online workforce training, residential contractors will immediately gain access to online training designed to prepare them to conduct comprehensive home energy efficiency retrofits. These stipends will allow contracting businesses to re-hire and re-invest in their employees during the economic downturn.
The Home Online Performance-Based Energy-Efficiency (HOPE) qualification is designed to serve as a pathway to participate in the Home Owner Managing Savings (HOMES) rebate program, which would provide rebates to homeowners who undertake energy efficiency home retrofits, thereby supporting contractor small businesses that are providing energy efficiency products and installations for their customers.
The program will spur the creation of important jobs in contracting, manufacturing and retail sales of energy-efficient technologies and products. Contracting jobs are inherently local, and many will be provided by small business contractors. The HOPE for HOMES Act would support these small businesses and local job creation across the country during a time of urgent need.
Along with the advocacy work of Building Performance Association and support by its members, HOPE for HOMES Act has the wide support of organizations across the industry including Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), Johnson Controls, Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).
The bill will be introduced in the House by Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), Rep. Tony Cárdenas, (D-CA), Rep. André Carson (D-IN), and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and in the Senate by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).