Courtesy Lesley Lopez,
More Clean Energy Jobs, Lower Energy Bills, Stronger Manufacturing
Washington, D.C.- Congressman Henry Cuellar, TX-28, today helped pass H.R. 4785, the 2010 Rural Energy Savings Program Bill, which provides loans to the 1.6 million American families and farmers in rural communities to renovate their homes or farms to become more energy-efficient, creating American manufacturing and installation jobs, while lowering energy bills for American families.
The Congressman’s amendment, which requires that the USDA provide their outreach expertise to the entities providing loans to areas of high unemployment, was also passed.
This program will offer homeowners and farmers loans of about $3,000 to $7,500 to eliminate the upfront cost of home energy upgrades, which customers can then repay over 10 years on their electric bill — with their energy savings from the renovations covering most of the cost of the loan.
The Rural Energy Program is estimated to create 20,000 – 40,000 American jobs per year and will not add a cent to the deficit. The legislation is fiscally responsible, as all of the loans will be repaid to the federal government, and is fully compliant with PAYGO, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
“In my Congressional district I have 2 counties that are significantly above the national average for unemployment– Hidalgo County is suffering at 11.1%, and Starr County is at 17.3%.,” said Congressman Cuellar. “This important amendment will go a long way towards making sure those areas that have been hit the hardest can take advantage of this legislation.”