A U.S. House-passed bill would provide financial incentives to homeowners who use a NATE-certified technician for efficiency upgrades, association officials say.

The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act, aka “cash for caulkers,” passed the U.S. House of Representatives May 6. It establishes a $6 billion rebate program that rewards homeowners for energy-efficient activities such as adding insulation and sealing ductwork.

The bill’s “silver level” provides incentives ranging from $250 to $1,500 for the purchase and installation of energy-saving equipment including furnaces and air conditioners.

Consumers can take advantage of these rebates by using North American Technician Excellence-certified technicians when upgrading heating and cooling equipment, officials with the association said.

The gold level provides additional incentives to households that conduct comprehensive energy audits and implement recommended measures designed to provide more energy savings.

“The Home Star legislation is critical to the energy-efficiency work force, creating jobs in the HVAC and building construction industries by providing incentives for energy-efficiency improvements in the residential market,” said Patrick Murphy, vice president of recertification at NATE. “As the HVACR industry’s nonprofit technician certification program, NATE provides valid, reliable and defensible testing and certification to ensure that individuals performing the HVACR work under Home Star possess the knowledge and the skills to do the job correctly, saving their customers energy while reducing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.”