H.R. 4230 (112th): HOMES Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Mar 21, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4230

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 21, 2012

(for himself and Mr. Welch) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To provide for the establishment of a Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Home Owner Managing Energy Savings Act of 2012 or the HOMES Act.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

BPI

The term BPI means the Building Performance Institute.

(2)

Certified workforce

The term certified workforce means a residential energy efficiency construction workforce in which all auditors, installers, crew leaders, and quality assurance inspectors performing work relating to retrofit activities with respect to which rebates are sought under this Act are certified—

(A)

by a certifying body recognized by the National Renewal Energy Laboratory’s Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals program; or

(B)

under—

(i)

an applicable third party skills standard established by—

(I)

the BPI;

(II)

RESNET Energy Smart Home Performance Team;

(III)

North American Technician Excellence; or

(IV)

the Laborers’ International Union of North America; or

(ii)

other standards approved by the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor.

(3)

Electric utility

The term electric utility means any company, person, cooperative, State, or Indian tribe agency that delivers or sells electric energy at retail, including nonregulated utilities, utilities that are subject to State or Indian tribe rate regulation, and Federal power marketing administrations.

(4)

Federal rebate processing system

The term Federal Rebate Processing System means the Federal Rebate Processing System established under section 3(b).

(5)

Home

The term home means a principal residential dwelling unit in a building with no more than 4 dwelling units that—

(A)

is located in the United States; and

(B)

was constructed before the date of enactment of this Act.

(6)

Home energy savings retrofit rebate program

The term Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program means the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program established under section 3(a).

(7)

Homeowner

The term homeowner means the owner of an owner-occupied home or a tenant-occupied home.

(8)

Indian tribe

The term Indian tribe has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).

(9)

Natural gas utility

The term natural gas utility means any company, person, cooperative, State or local governmental agency or instrumentality, or Indian tribe that transports, distributes, or sells natural gas at retail.

(10)

Qualified contractor

The term qualified contractor means a residential energy efficiency contractor that meets minimum applicable requirements established under section 4.

(11)

Qualified home energy efficiency retrofit

The term qualified home energy efficiency retrofit means a retrofit described in section 8(d).

(12)

Quality assurance program

(A)

In general

The term quality assurance program means a program established under this Act, or recognized by the Secretary under this Act, to oversee the delivery of home efficiency retrofit programs to ensure that work is performed in accordance with standards and criteria established under this Act.

(B)

Inclusions

For purposes of subparagraph (A), delivery of retrofit programs includes delivery of quality assurance reviews of rebate applications and field inspections.

(13)

Quality assurance provider

The term quality assurance provider means any entity that meets the minimum applicable requirements established under section 6(b).

(14)

Rebate aggregator

The term rebate aggregator means an entity that meets the requirements of section 5.

(15)

Resnet

The term RESNET means the Residential Energy Services Network, which is a nonprofit certification and standard setting organization for home energy raters that evaluate the energy performance of a home and Energy Smart Contractors that make energy improvements to the home.

(16)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.

(17)

State

The term State means—

(A)

a State;

(B)

the District of Columbia;

(C)

the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico;

(D)

Guam;

(E)

American Samoa;

(F)

the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands;

(G)

the United States Virgin Islands; and

(H)

any other territory or possession of the United States.

3.

Home energy savings retrofit rebate program

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall establish the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.

(b)

Federal rebate processing system

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, shall—

(A)

establish a Federal Rebate Processing System which shall serve as a database and information technology system that will allow rebate aggregators to submit claims for reimbursement using standard data protocols;

(B)

establish a national retrofit Web site that provides information on the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, including—

(i)

how to determine whether particular efficiency measures are eligible for rebates; and

(ii)

how to participate in the program; and

(C)

make available, on a designated Web site, model forms for demonstrating compliance with all applicable requirements of this Act, which shall be required to be submitted by—

(i)

each qualified contractor on completion of an eligible home energy retrofit; and

(ii)

each quality assurance provider on completion of field verification.

(2)

Model forms

In carrying out paragraph (1)(C), the Secretary shall consider the model forms developed by the National Home Performance Council, Inc. If the Secretary does not adopt these forms, the Secretary shall convene a group of stakeholders, including the National Home Performance Council, Inc., to develop the final forms.

4.

Contractors

(a)

Contractor qualifications

A contractor may perform retrofit work under the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program in a State for which rebates are provided under this Act only if the contractor—

(1)

meets all applicable contractor licensing requirements established by the State;

(2)

is—

(A)

accredited by the BPI or a preexisting BPI accreditation-based State certification program with enhancements to achieve State energy policy;

(B)

a RESNET accredited Energy Smart Home Performance Team; or

(C)

accredited by an equivalent certification program approved by the Secretary for this purpose;

(3)

holds insurance coverage of at least $1,000,000 for general liability, and for such other purposes and in such other amounts as required by the State;

(4)

provides warranties to the homeowner that completed work will—

(A)

be free of significant defects;

(B)

be installed in accordance with the specifications of the manufacturer, and all applicable State and local building and mechanical codes;

(C)

perform properly for a period of at least 1 year after the date of completion of the work; and

(D)

warrant such other actions or results as determined appropriate by the Secretary; and

(5)

hires and retains a certified workforce for projects performed under this Act.

(b)

Agreement between contractor and home owner

A contractor who performs retrofit work under the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program must sign a written contract with the homeowner that includes—

(1)

an agreement to not increase the cost of the home improvement as a result of the rebates received under this Act with respect to the home; and

(2)

if the contractor and homeowner choose the transferable rebate option authorized under section 7, an agreement to provide the homeowner, before a contract is executed between the contractor and the homeowner covering the eligible work, a notice of the rebate amount the contractor intends to apply for with respect to eligible work under this Act.

5.

Rebate aggregators

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall develop a network of rebate aggregators or a national rebate aggregator that can facilitate the delivery of rebates to participating homeowners or contractors by—

(1)

reviewing the proposed rebate application for completeness and accuracy;

(2)

reviewing measures for eligibility in accordance with this Act;

(3)

providing data to the Federal Rebate Processing System consistent with data protocols established by the Secretary; and

(4)

as soon as practicable but not later than 30 days after the date of receipt, distributing funds received from the Department of Energy to homeowners or contractors.

(b)

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply to the Secretary for approval as a rebate aggregator, an entity shall be—

(1)

a Home Performance with Energy Star program sponsor;

(2)

an entity administering a residential energy efficiency retrofit program established or approved by a State;

(3)

a Federal power marketing administration, an electric utility, or a natural gas utility that has—

(A)

a residential energy efficiency retrofit program; and

(B)

a quality assurance provider network; or

(4)

an entity that demonstrates to the Secretary that the entity can perform the functions of a rebate aggregator, without disrupting existing residential retrofits in the States that are incorporating the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, including demonstration of—

(A)

the capability to provide electronic data to the Federal Rebate Processing System;

(B)

a financial system that is capable of tracking the distribution of rebates to participating contractors; and

(C)

coordination and cooperation by the entity with the appropriate State energy office regarding participation in the existing energy efficiency programs that will be delivering the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.

(c)

Public utility commission efficiency targets

The Secretary shall—

(1)

develop guidelines for States to use to allow utilities participating as rebate aggregators to count the energy savings from the participation of the utilities toward State level energy savings targets; and

(2)

work with States to assist in the adoption of those guidelines for the purposes and duration of the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.

6.

Quality assurance providers

(a)

Qualifications

An entity shall be considered a quality assurance provider under this Act only if the entity is qualified through—

(1)

the BPI;

(2)

RESNET; or

(3)

any other entity designated by the Secretary such as a State or State-approved residential energy efficiency retrofit program.

(b)

Functions

A quality assurance provider shall—

(1)

be independent of the contractor;

(2)

confirm that contractors or installers of home energy efficiency retrofits meet the qualification requirements of this Act according to the standard work specification guidelines established by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the Department of Energy; and

(3)

perform field inspections and other measures required to confirm the compliance of the retrofit work and the simulated energy savings under the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, based on the requirements of this Act.

7.

Transferability of home energy savings rebate

A homeowner may transfer the rebate provided under the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program to the contractor performing the retrofit work if the contractor completes a form that accompanies the rebate form developed under section 3(b). This form, to be made publically available by the Secretary 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, must be signed by the homeowner and include—

(1)

the amount of the rebate the contractor will submit for disbursement to the contractor;

(2)

the level of energy use reduction of the home retrofit certified under section 8(e)(4), and assurance that the contractor will provide the certificate to the homeowner within 30 days of receipt from the Department of Energy;

(3)

a documentation report of the retrofit performed and paid by the homeowner; and

(4)

confirmation from the homeowner that they understand they have the right to submit directly for the rebate and have chosen to transfer the credit in full to the contractor.

8.

Home energy savings retrofit rebate program

(a)

In general

If a qualified home energy efficiency retrofit of a home is carried out after January 1, 2013, by a qualified contractor in accordance with this section, rebates shall be awarded for retrofits that achieve home energy savings in accordance with this Act.

(b)

Amount of rebates

(1)

In general

Subject to subsection (e), the amount of a rebate provided to the owner of a home or a designee of the owner under this section shall be—

(A)

$2,000 for a 20–24 percent reduction in home energy use;

(B)

$3,000 for a 25–29 percent reduction in home energy use;

(C)

$4,000 for a 30–34 percent reduction in home energy use;

(D)

$5,000 for a 35–39 percent reduction in home energy use;

(E)

$6,000 for a 40–44 percent reduction in home energy use;

(F)

$7,000 for a 45–49 percent reduction in home energy use; and

(G)

$8,000 for a 50 percent or more reduction in home energy use.

(2)

Rebate payment

(A)

In general

The rebate shall be paid, based on energy savings as calculated under subsection (e), within 60 days after—

(i)

submission of the required rebate forms; and

(ii)

the completion of any quality assurance assessment required under subparagraph (B).

(B)

Quality assurance assessments

The Secretary shall establish a schedule of required quality assurance assessments. In the first year of the program, all homes shall be required to have a quality assurance assessment. The Secretary shall establish a cost effective schedule of required quality assurance assessments for subsequent years based on performance under the program.

(3)

Limitation

In no event shall the amount of rebates under this subsection exceed—

(A)

$10,000 with respect to any individual; or

(B)

50 percent of the qualified home energy efficiency expenditures paid or incurred by the homeowner under subsection (c).

(c)

Qualified home energy efficiency expenditures

For purposes of this section, the term qualified home energy efficiency expenditures

(1)

means any amount paid or incurred by a homeowner for a qualified home energy efficiency retrofit, including the cost of diagnostic procedures, labor, and modeling; and

(2)

does not include—

(A)

improvements to swimming pools or hot tubs; or

(B)

any amount paid or incurred to purchase or install a biomass, wood, or wood pellet furnace, boiler, or stove, unless the system—

(i)

is designed to meet at least 70 percent of the heating demands of the home;

(ii)

in the case of woodstoves, is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency;

(iii)

in the case of a wood stove replacement, replaces an existing wood stove with a stove that is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency, if a voucher is provided by the installer or other responsible party certifying that the old stove has been removed and made inoperable;

(iv)

in the case of a furnace or boiler, is in a home with a distribution system (such as piping, ducts, vents, blowers, or affixed fans) that allows heat from the furnace or boiler to reach all or most parts of the home; and

(v)

is certified by an independent test laboratory approved by the Secretary as having—

(I)

thermal efficiency (with a high heating value) of at least 75 percent for stoves and 80 percent for furnaces and boilers;

(II)

particulate emissions of less than 3.0 grams per hour for wood stoves or pellet stoves; and

(III)

less than 0.07 lbs per million BTU for outdoor boilers and furnaces.

(d)

Qualified home energy efficiency retrofit

(1)

In general

A qualified home energy efficiency retrofit is a retrofit that implements measures, during a rebate-eligible year in the existing principal residence of the homeowner which is located in the United States, intended to reduce the energy use of such residence. A qualified home energy efficiency retrofit shall—

(A)

be implemented and installed by a qualified contractor;

(B)

install a set of measures modeled to achieve a reduction in home energy use of 20 percent or more from the baseline established under subparagraph (C), using computer modeling software approved under paragraph (2);

(C)

establish the baseline energy use as provided in subsection (e)(1)(C);

(D)

implement a test-out procedure, following guidelines of the applicable accrediting program described in section 4(a)(2) (A), (B), or (C), or equivalent guidelines approved by the Secretary for this purpose, to ensure—

(i)

the safe operation of all systems post retrofit; and

(ii)

that all improvements are included in, and have been installed according to—

(I)

standards of the applicable accrediting program described in section 4(a)(2) (A), (B), or (C);

(II)

manufacturers installation specifications; and

(III)

all applicable State and local building and mechanical codes or equivalent standards approved by the Secretary for this purpose;

(E)

include only measures that have an average estimated life of 5 years or more as determined by the Secretary;

(F)

not include any amount which is paid or incurred in connection with any expansion of the building envelope of the residence; and

(G)

not include improvements to swimming pools or hot tubs or any other expenditure specifically excluded by the Secretary.

(2)

Approved modeling software

The contractor shall use modeling software certified by RESNET as following the software verification test suites in section 4.2.1 of RESNET Publication No. 06–001, or under equivalent standards approved by the Secretary for this purpose, and shall have the ability at a minimum to assess the savings associated with all the measures for Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.

(e)

Energy use reduction

(1)

Determination of energy use reduction

(A)

In general

The reduction in energy use for any residence shall be determined by modeling the annual predicted percentage reduction in total energy costs for heating, cooling, hot water, and permanent lighting. It shall be modeled using computer modeling software approved under subsection (d)(2) and calibrated according to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph.

(B)

Energy costs

For the purposes of subparagraph (A), the energy cost per unit of fuel for each fuel type shall be determined by dividing the total actual energy bill (subtracting taxes and fees) for the residence for that fuel type for the most recent available 12-month period by the total energy units of that fuel type used over the same period.

(C)

Baseline energy use

For the purposes of subparagraph (A), the software model that establishes the baseline energy use and predicted energy savings shall be calibrated according to the procedures set forth in sections 3 and 4 of BPI Standard BPI–2400–S–2011: Standardized Qualification of Whole House Energy Savings Estimates, or an equivalent standard approved by the Secretary for this purpose.

(2)

Documentation

The percent improvement in energy consumption calculated under this section shall be documented through modeling software described in subsection (d)(2).

(3)

Monitoring

The Secretary—

(A)

shall periodically evaluate the software packages used for determining rebates under this section;

(B)

shall monitor and compare the predictions to the real energy data, and based on the results, create performance criteria to allow or disallow the software; and

(C)

may disallow the use of software programs that improperly assess energy savings.

(4)

Certificate of retrofit performance

The Secretary shall establish a system for distribution of a certificate of performance with the issuance of a rebate that certifies the level of energy use reduction achieved by the retrofit. The certificate will be provided to the rebate recipient. If the recipient is the contractor under the terms of section 7, the contractor shall remit the certificate to the homeowner, to be postmarked not later than 30 days after the contractor’s receipt of the certificate.

(5)

Exception

The Secretary shall not utilize the authority provided under this Act to—

(A)

develop, adopt, or implement a public labeling system that rates and compares the energy performance of one home with another; or

(B)

require the public disclosure of an energy performance evaluation or rating developed for any specific home.

Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude the computation, collection, or use, by the Secretary, rebate aggregators, or quality assurance providers, or the States or Indian tribes, for the purposes of gathering information on the rating and comparison of the energy performance of homes with and without energy efficiency retrofits.
(f)

Qualification for rebate

On submission of a claim for a retrofit rebate by a rebate aggregator to the system established under section 5, the Secretary shall provide reimbursement to the rebate aggregator, if—

(1)

the retrofit is a qualified home energy efficiency retrofit;

(2)

the amount of the reimbursement is not more than the amount described in subsection (b);

(3)

documentation required to verify the claim is transmitted with the claim; and

(4)

any quality assurance assessment required under subsection (b)(2)(B) has been completed.

(g)

Homeowner complaints

(1)

In general

A homeowner may make a complaint under the quality assurance program during the 1-year warranty period that compliance with the quality assurance requirements of this section has not been achieved.

(2)

Verification

(A)

In general

The quality assurance program shall provide that, on receiving a complaint under paragraph (1), an independent quality assurance provider shall conduct field verification on the retrofit work performed by the contractor.

(B)

Administration

A verification under this paragraph shall be corrected in accordance with subsection (f)(4).

(h)

Audits

(1)

In general

On making payment for a submission under this section, the Secretary shall review rebate requests to determine whether program requirements were met in all respects.

(2)

Incorrect payment

On a determination of the Secretary under paragraph (1) that a payment was made incorrectly to a party, the Secretary may—

(A)

recoup the amount of the incorrect payment; or

(B)

withhold the amount of the incorrect payment from the next payment made to the party pursuant to a subsequent request.

(i)

Incentives

The amount of incentives that the Secretary may provide to quality assurance providers and rebate aggregators under this Act shall be—

(1)

$25 for each rebate review and submission provided under the program;

(2)

$250 for each field inspection conducted under the program; or

(3)

such other amounts as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out the quality assurance provisions of this Act.

9.

Grants to States and Indian tribes

(a)

In general

A State or Indian tribe that receives a grant under subsection (d) shall use the grant for—

(1)

administrative costs;

(2)

oversight of quality assurance plans;

(3)

development of a quality assurance program;

(4)

establishment and delivery of financing pilots in accordance with this Act;

(5)

coordination with existing residential retrofit programs and infrastructure development to assist deployment of the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program; and

(6)

the costs of carrying out the responsibilities of the State or Indian tribe under the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.

(b)

Initial grants

Not later than 60 days after receipt of a completed application for a grant under this section, the Secretary shall either make the grant or provide to the applicant an explanation for denying the grant.

(c)

Indian tribes

The Secretary shall reserve an appropriate amount of funding to be made available to carry out this section for each fiscal year to make grants available to Indian tribes under this section.

(d)

State allotments

From the amounts made available to carry out this section for each fiscal year remaining after the reservation required under subsection (c), the Secretary shall make grants available to States in accordance with section 15.

(e)

Quality assurance programs

(1)

In general

A State or Indian tribe may use a grant made under this section to carry out a quality assurance program that is—

(A)

operated as part of a State energy conservation plan established under part D of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6321 et seq.);

(B)

managed by the office or the designee of the office that is—

(i)

responsible for the development of the plan under section 362 of that Act (42 U.S.C. 6322); and

(ii)

to the maximum extent practicable conducting an existing energy efficiency program; and

(C)

in the case of a grant made to an Indian tribe, managed by an entity designated by the Indian tribe to carry out a quality assurance program or a national quality assurance program manager.

(2)

Noncompliance

If the Secretary determines that a State or Indian tribe has not provided or cannot provide adequate oversight over a quality assurance program to ensure compliance with this Act, the Secretary may—

(A)

withhold further quality assurance funds from the State or Indian tribe; and

(B)

require that quality assurance providers operating in the State or by the Indian tribe be overseen by a national quality assurance program manager selected by the Secretary.

(f)

Implementation

A State or Indian tribe that receives a grant under this section may implement a quality assurance program through the State, the Indian tribe, or a third party designated by the State or Indian tribe, including—

(1)

an energy service company;

(2)

an electric utility;

(3)

a natural gas utility;

(4)

a third-party administrator designated by the State or Indian tribe; or

(5)

a unit of local government.

(g)

Public-Private partnerships

A State or Indian tribe that receives a grant under this section is encouraged to form partnerships with utilities, energy service companies, and other entities—

(1)

to assist in marketing a program;

(2)

to facilitate consumer financing;

(3)

to assist in implementation of the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program, including installation of qualified home energy efficiency retrofits; and

(4)

to assist in implementing quality assurance programs.

(h)

Coordination of rebate and existing state-Sponsored programs

(1)

In general

A State or Indian tribe shall, to the maximum extent practicable, prevent duplication through coordination of a program authorized under this Act with—

(A)

the Energy Star appliance rebates program authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111–5; 123; Stat. 115); and

(B)

comparable programs planned or operated by States, political subdivisions, electric and natural gas utilities, Federal power marketing administrations, and Indian tribes.

(2)

Existing programs

In carrying out this subsection, a State or Indian tribe shall—

(A)

give priority to—

(i)

comprehensive retrofit programs in existence on the date of enactment of this Act, including programs under the supervision of State utility regulators; and

(ii)

using funds made available under this Act to enhance and extend existing programs; and

(B)

seek to enhance and extend existing programs by coordinating with administrators of the programs.

10.

Quality assurance program

(a)

In general

As part of a grant application described in section 9(b), a State or Indian tribe shall submit to the Secretary a plan to implement a quality assurance program that covers all federally assisted residential efficiency retrofit work administered, supervised, or sponsored by the State or Indian tribe.

(b)

Implementation

The State or Indian tribe shall—

(1)

develop a quality assurance program in consultation with industry stakeholders, including representatives of efficiency program managers, contractors, and environmental, energy efficiency, and labor organizations; and

(2)

implement the quality assurance program not later than 180 days after receipt of a grant under section 9.

(c)

Components

The quality assurance program established under this section shall include—

(1)

maintenance of a list of qualified contractors authorized to perform such retrofit work as described in section 4;

(2)

targets and realistic plans for—

(A)

the recruitment of small minority-owned or women-owned business enterprises; and

(B)

the employment of graduates of training programs that primarily serve low-income populations with a median income that is below 200 percent of the poverty line (as defined in section 673(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9902(2)), including any revision required by that section) by participating contractors; and

(3)

a plan to link workforce training for home energy efficiency retrofits with training for the broader range of skills and occupations in construction or emerging clean energy industries.

(d)

Noncompliance

If the Secretary determines that a State or Indian tribe has not taken the steps required under this section, the Secretary shall provide to the State or Indian tribe a period of at least 90 days to comply before suspending the participation of the State or Indian tribe in the program.

11.

Evaluation report to Congress

(a)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act and annually thereafter until the termination of the program under this Act, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report on the use of funds under this Act.

(b)

Contents

The report submitted under subsection (a) shall evaluate—

(1)

how many eligible participants have participated in the program;

(2)

how many jobs have been created through the program, directly and indirectly;

(3)

what steps could be taken to promote further deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofits;

(4)

the quantity of verifiable energy savings, homeowner energy bill savings, and other benefits of the program;

(5)

any waste, fraud, or abuse with respect to such funds; and

(6)

any other information the Secretary considers appropriate.

(c)

Noncompliance

The Secretary shall require rebate aggregators, States, and Indian tribes to provide the information required to enable the Secretary to carry out this section. If the Secretary determines that a rebate aggregator, State, or Indian tribe has not provided such information on a timely basis, the Secretary shall provide to the rebate aggregator, State, or Indian tribe a period of at least 90 days to provide any necessary information, subject to withholding of funds or reduction of future grant amounts, or decertification of rebate aggregators.

12.

Administration

(a)

In general

Subject to section 15(b), not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall provide such administrative and technical support to rebate aggregators, States, and Indian tribes as is necessary to carry out this Act.

(b)

Appointment of personnel

Notwithstanding the provisions of title 5, United States Code, governing appointments in the competitive service and General Schedule classifications and pay rates, the Secretary may appoint such professional and administrative personnel as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out this Act.

(c)

Rate of pay

The rate of pay for a person appointed under subsection (b) shall not exceed the maximum rate payable for GS–15 of the General Schedule under chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code.

(d)

Consultants

Notwithstanding section 303 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (41 U.S.C. 253), the Secretary may retain such consultants on a noncompetitive basis as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out this Act.

(e)

Contracting

In carrying out this Act, the Secretary may waive all or part of any provision of the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 (Public Law 98–369; 98 Stat. 1175), an amendment made by that Act, or the Federal Acquisition Regulation on a determination that circumstances make compliance with the provisions contrary to the public interest.

(f)

Information collection

Chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, shall not apply to any information collection requirement necessary for the implementation of the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program. The Secretary shall establish, and make available to homeowners seeking a rebate under this Act, optional release forms authorizing access by the Secretary, BPI, and RESNET to information in the utility bills of the homeowner.

13.

Treatment of rebates

(a)

In general

For purposes of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, rebates received for a qualified home energy efficiency retrofit under this Act—

(1)

shall not be considered taxable income to a homeowner; and

(2)

shall prohibit the consumer from applying for a tax credit allowed under section 25C or 25D of that Code for the same retrofit work performed in the home of the homeowner.

(b)

Notice

(1)

In general

A participating contractor shall provide notice to a homeowner of the provisions of subsection (a) before eligible work is performed in the home of the homeowner.

(2)

Notice in rebate form

A homeowner shall be notified of the provisions of subsection (a) in the appropriate rebate form developed by the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury.

14.

Penalties

(a)

In general

It shall be unlawful for any person to violate this Act (including any regulation issued under this Act), other than a violation as the result of a clerical error.

(b)

Civil Penalty

In addition to any penalty applicable under other Federal law for fraud or other crimes, any person who commits a violation of this Act shall be liable to the United States for a civil penalty in an amount that is not more than the higher of—

(1)

$15,000 for each violation; or

(2)

3 times the value of any associated rebate under this Act.

(c)

Administration

The Secretary may—

(1)

assess and compromise a penalty imposed under subsection (b); and

(2)

require from any entity the records and inspections necessary to enforce this Act.

15.

Funding

(a)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this Act $500,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2016, to remain available until expended.

(2)

Maintenance of funding

Funds provided under this section shall supplement and not supplant any Federal and State funding provided to carry out energy efficiency programs in existence on the date of enactment of this Act.

(b)

Grants to states

(1)

In general

Of the amounts provided under subsection (a), not more than 6 percent shall be used to carry out section 9.

(2)

Distribution to state energy offices

Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall determine a formula to provide funds described in paragraph (1) to State energy offices, in accordance with the allocation formula for State energy conservation plans established under part D of title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6321 et seq.).

(c)

Tracking of rebates and expenditures

Of the amount provided under subsection (a), not more than 2.5 percent are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to be used for costs associated with tracking rebates and expenditures through the Federal Rebate Processing System under this Act, technical assistance to States, and related administrative costs incurred by the Secretary.

(d)

Program review and backstop funding

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall perform a State-by-State analysis and review the distribution of Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebates under this Act.

(2)

Adjustment

The Secretary may allocate technical assistance funding to assist States that have not sufficiently benefitted from the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program.

(e)

Return of undisbursed funds

If the Secretary has not disbursed all the funds available for rebates under the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program by September 30, 2017, any undisbursed funds shall be returned to the Treasury.