Bills Introduced to Delay Lead Rule

Bills to delay implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (LRRP) have been introduced in the U.S. House and the Senate.

The House bill (HR 5177) introduced on April 29, just a week after the new rule, would postpone implementation until accreditation classes were held for a period of at least one year. The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. A Senate version was introduced on May 4 and was similarly referred to committee.

Previous to the LRRP implementation date, a number of building industry groups, including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), had lobbied Congress for a delay in enforcement of the rule.

American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) also voiced support of delaying implementation, saying that the intended economic and environmental benefits of the Home Star bill, recently passed by the House, could be negated if the LRRP requirement were implemented now.

AAMA cites a field study recently conducted by Architectural Testing, Inc., which provides window installation training, which estimated the costs of implementing the LRRP rules to be $121.50 per window. Failure to comply could result in fines of $37,500 per violation, per day.

As of April 22, 2010, the EPA said it had certified 204 training providers who had conducted more than 6,900 courses.

“Clearly, there is a need for more trainers and a faster certification process to educate the estimated 500,000 home remodeling companies that are waiting to renovate the nation’s 76.5 million housing units, says AAMA association services director Janice Charletta.

Consumer Financing

GE Money and Champion Windows Offer Credit

GE Money, the consumer lending Unit of General Electric Co., and Champion Windows announced a multiyear agreement to offer consumer financing. The GE Money Home Design program enables homeowners to finance purchases from Champion’s line of products, including vinyl replacement windows, entry doors, patio rooms and siding. The program is managed by GE Money’s Sales Finance Unit, which provides billions of dollars of consumer financing through more than 145,000 small and medium businesses on Main Streets across the United States.

NARI

Zuch Named President

At its Spring 2010 House of Delegates meeting, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) named immediate past president William Carter, MCR, CKBR, UDCR, of William E. Carter Company in Sacramento, Calif., as its chairman of the board and elevated Paul Zuch, CR, of Capital Improvements in Allen, Texas, to the office of president.

Carter, as chair of the board of directors, will continue to lend his support to NARI.

Zuch assumed the role of president after serving in the capacity of vice president for the past year. An active national leader, he has been an officer since 2006, and prior to that served as a regional vice president and two-year term as president of the Greater Dallas NARI chapter.

The remaining officers include: president-elect, Michael Hydeck, MCR, CKBR of Hydeck Design Build in Telford, Pa.; vice president, Dean Herriges, MCR, CKBR of Urban Herriges & Sons Inc. in Mukwonago, Wis.; and secretary/treasurer, Fred Spaulding, CKBR, of Quality Home Improvements Inc. in Kingwood, Texas.

Legislation

Cash for Caulkers Bill Passes House

The U.S. House of Representatives on May 6 passed the Home Star bill (H.R. 5019) with a vote of 246 to 161. Also referred to as “cash for caulkers,” the legislation aims to establish a rebate program to encourage consumers to buy energy-efficient appliances and undertake energy efficiency home refurbishments.

Officially known as the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, the bill now moves on to the Senate for consideration and debate.

The House bill establishes a new program that provides grants to homeowners for weatherizing their homes. Two paths are provided: a “silver star” path that has $250 to $1,500 incentives for a variety of specific energy saving measures, up to a maximum of $3,000 per home, and a “gold star” path that provides incentives of $3,000 to $8,000 per home for comprehensive packages of energy-saving measures (incentives increase as energy savings increase).

Weatherization

Honeywell, GreenFiber to Partner on Contractor Program

Honeywell announced a strategic partnership with US GreenFiber LLC, the largest U.S. manufacturer of natural fiber insulation, for the Honeywell’s Enovate PRO Weatherization Contractor Program.

Under the partnership, GreenFiber will become a distributor of Honeywell’s new line of weatherization products, which are available only to contractors who are certified under Honeywell’s weatherization contractor program.

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