I was exploring an energy use analysis on my utility company’s website when I noticed a link that led me to a rebate section on their website.
The rebate program section was not easy to find and was not linked to from their home page. I had to do a bit of digging to find it. But once I did, I was slightly shocked at all of the rebates and incentives on home energy improvements that my dirty, old-school utility company was offering.
Turns out that they earmark a budget to each program every year. On the website, the browser can see a gauge of the percentage of funds that have been used for each program. If your utility company does it the same way, it would make sense to look for a new list of rebates at the beginning of every calendar year, versus the end when the funds may be used up.
Your mileage may vary from mine, but I would highly recommend you check out both your electricity and gas provider’s websites to see what kind of incentives they are offering. Any time you can get something for free or at a discount that helps you lower your energy costs AND reduces your carbon footprint, it is worth it. It is the smart and responsible thing to do.
It may take a bit of digging, but I’ve provided a list of 12 incentives I was able to find to aid you in your search…
1. Appliance Recycling
Want to upgrade that old fridge that burns through hundreds a year in electricity to an Energy Star version? My utility offers a $40 rebate on the new fridge and will haul your old working appliance away for free. If you’re lucky, the retailer you bought from won’t charge you to haul away the old appliance, let alone give you money to do so (and recycle the old unit for peace of mind).
2. Free Electric Vehicle Plug-In Station
If you’re interested in a plug-in electric car like a Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf, you’re probably dreading the cost of having to pay thousands for a plug-in station. My utility offers the first 2,500 customers who purchase a plug-in vehicle to receive a separately-metered, 240-volt charging station (up to $2,500 value) free. This is totally separate from the federal electric vehicle tax credit and any applicable state electric vehicle tax credits.
CFL’s significantly reduce your lighting expense (LED’s even more so) and produce a positive ROI in a short time. My utility offers $1.50 off the purchase of qualifying Energy Star CFLs retailing for $2.50 or more and also partners with a number of retailers to offer $0.99 CFL’s to their customers.
4. Programmable Thermostats
Programmable thermostats are an absolute no-brainer. They will result in a positive ROI in year one if you used properly. My utility is throwing in a $20 mail in rebate for programmable thermostats to encourage you to install one (which is much easier than it may sound).
5. Clothes Washer
Has your old clothes washer died or do you simply want to save money on electricity or water in running it. Check your utility company for a rebate before buying. Mine offers a $50 mail in rebate for Energy Star washers.
6. Furnace Tune Up
Proper furnace maintenance can help you save money in the long run through improved efficiency and less bigger maintenance later on. Your utility may offer a forced air furnace diagnostic tune-up rebate. Mine offers $50.
7. High Efficiency Furnace
Even though the furnace energy tax credits have ended, my utility company was still offering huge rebates on high efficiency units.
- 95% AFUE natural gas furnaces are eligible for a $400 rebate
- 92% AFUE natural gas boiler are eligible for a $450 rebate
8. Water Heaters
Super high efficiency natural gas water heaters with an EF .67 or higher are eligible for a $75 rebate from my utility.
Tankless natural gas water heaters with an EF .82 or higher are eligible for a $100 rebate from my utility.
9. Home Energy Consultation
My energy company is offering to come out to your home to provide an energy assessment and make energy savings recommendations. While they are there, they’ll install the following products:
- Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Water-saving faucet aerators for kitchen and bath
- Water-saving showerheads
- Water heater pipe wrap
The cost? NOTHING!
10. Free Energy Efficiency Kit
I took advantage of this offer. In completing an online energy audit, my utility sends out an energy efficiency kit, which included all of the items listed in the home energy consultation – CFL’s, shower head, pipe wrap, aerators, and more.
11. Home Energy Audit
Have you wanted to schedule a home energy audit on your home, but have shied away from the cost? Your utility may offer a rebate – mine offers $150.
12. Insulation and Weatherization Upgrades
After getting that discounted home energy audit, you would be eligible for the following rebates on upgrades:
|Ceiling or Attic Insulation||$125 – $250|
|Above Grade Wall / Kneewall Insulation||$125 – $250|
|Band joist Insulation||$50 – $100|
|Basement Wall Insulation||$50 – $100|
|Crawl Space Wall Insulation||$50 – $100|
|Floor Insulation||$50 – $100|
|Certified Energy Audit||up to $150|
|Air Sealing (requires Certified Energy Audit)||up to $150|
|Window Replacement||$30 per window/
$60 per picture window
or sliding glass door
Utility Company Rebate Discussion:
- Have you taken advantage of any utility company rebates or incentives? What did you get?
- What is your utility currently offering up?
- If your utility offered these rebates, would you use them? Why or why not?