Posts Tagged ‘energy rebates’
» posted on Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 at 10:56 am by Woody Wilson viewed 152 times
By Sarah MaxJuly 6, 2010: 8:43 AM ET
(Money Magazine) — 1. Federal appliance rebates are going fast …
The government’s Cash for Appliances program, which lets you score rebates for about $50 to $500 swapping energy guzzling appliances for more efficient models, has gotten lots of attention.
But don’t count your greenbacks just yet. The incentives, which are administered through the states, are typically doled out on a first-come, first-served basis, and in many locales the money is already gone. Florida’s program, for example, closed just 36 hours after it opened. But some states, such as Michigan, still had plenty of cash in their coffers at the end of May, and other initiatives didn’t launch until June. To check the status of the program in your state, go to energysavers.gov/financial.
2. … But most states offer their own programs too
Even if you can no longer qualify for a Cash for Appliances rebate, you may still be able to get cash back from the more than 600 programs run by utilities and over 100 state programs that offer incentives for boosting your home’s energy efficiency, says Justin Barnes, policy analyst with the North Carolina Solar Center. In Oregon, for example, you can get a $75 rebate on an Energy Star washer, and $30 for recycling an old fridge. See dsireusa.org for info on your area.
3. And you may have two more chances to get federal funds
Through the end of 2010, you can claim a $1,500 federal tax credit for up to 30% of the cost of many energy-related improvements.
There’s also the so-called Cash for Caulkers bill, which was passed by the House in May and could soon become law. It would give homeowners hefty rebates on a variety of energy saving projects.
Even if you take the tax credit this year, you may still qualify for a Cash for Caulkers rebate, says Ronnie Kweller, a spokesperson for the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit group.
4. Before you grab a rebate, do the math
Getting cash back might help you justify the purchase of, say, that snazzy new stainless-steel fridge you’ve been eyeing. But other projects may give you greater savings. “If your home has bad insulation, a super efficient heating system won’t do much,” says Mark Cannella, partner with Pro Energy Consultants, an energy auditing firm.
Not sure where your money is best spent? A comprehensive home energy audit, which will pinpoint your leaks, runs about $400. But some states or utilities conduct basic audits for free or will reimburse some of that cost.
5. Don’t forget that small projects can still pay big
There are plenty of ways to save energy without spending a lot. Every degree you go up or down on your thermostat will knock 2% off your annual heating and cooling costs; replacing your five most frequently used bulbs with compact fluorescents can lop $70 a year off your energy bill, says Lizzie Rubado, a senior project manager with Energy Trust of Oregon.
Finally, ditching that old fridge you’ve relegated to the garage for storing extra drinks will save about $200 or more a year. You may find you can justify an appliance upgrade after all — rebate or not.
» posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2010 at 11:47 am by Woody Wilson viewed 213 times
First proposed by the Obama Administration and already introduced in the Senate, the measure gives $6 billion in rebates for energy retrofits.
Several House members planned today to introduce legislation creating Home Star, a measure designed to spur employment by giving tax credits for energy retrofits of homes
The bill was to be unveiled at a 1 p.m. news conference featuring Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.); Peter Welch (D-Vt.); Vern Ehlers (R-Mich.); and Denis Cardoza (D-Calif.)
Home Star enjoys considerable support. The Obama Administration first proposed it, Senate. Finance Committee chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), is lead sponsor for the Senate version of the bill, and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, has signed on as a lead sponsor of the House version. In addition, Markey is chairman of the Energy & Commerce subcommittee on energy and the environment, so the measure is likely to be acted on quickly if it’s assigned to that committee.
Home Star authorizes up to $6 billion worth of tax rebates for the installation of energy-efficient products. According to text of the Senate version of the bill, Home Star authorizes two retrofit programs: Silver Star, which focuses on the installation of particular products; and Gold Star, in which rebates go to retrofits that achieve energy savings for the whole home.
Silver Star’s rebates go to measures such as sealing off air leakage between the attic and the conditioned space; adding at least R-19 insulation to existing insulation; achieving insulation levels of at least R-38 in warmer areas and at least R-49 in colder parts of the United States; replacing or sealing ducts; replacing doors and windows with certified energy-saving products; and installing storm windows on windows that don’t currently have them. Rebates generally top out at $1,500 per measure and $3,000 for all projects.
Gold Star focuses on whole-home energy savings. It will give a $3,000 rebate for a 20% reduction in the whole home’s energy consumption, and an additional $1,000 (up to $8,000) for each extra 5% reduction.
Craig L. Webb is Editor of ProSales.
By Julie Wernau, Tribune newspapers
April 8, 2010
If you’ve been thinking about replacing that energy-hogging refrigerator or outdated dishwasher, now might be the time. A nationwide program that gives rebates for consumers purchasing Energy Star appliances will soon be in full force.
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy has doled out $300 million for rebate programs in the U.S. and its territories aimed at reducing home energy usage. The rebates can mean hundreds of dollars off the purchase price of a new appliance but are on a first-come, first-served basis. Individual programs vary; information can be found at energysavers.gov/rebates.
Some programs are offering rebates in specific dollar amounts, while others are offering a percentage off of the sticker price. In some states, rebates can be reserved online. Iowa is among states that allow consumers to use the federal rebates on top of existing state and utility rebates.
According to the Department of Energy, 31 states require that customers prove they have properly recycled an old appliance before receiving a rebate. Information about individual recycling plans can be found at energystar.gov/recycle.
“April is a big month for a number of states launching, particularly around Earth Day on April 22,” Energy Department spokeswoman Jen Stutsman said. “The program has been very successful thus far. It is encouraging people to make investments that will save energy.”
Though about half of states already had a rebate program, Stutsman said, because of Recovery Act funding, this is the first year every state will participate.
In Illinois, there have been appliance rebate programs in the past, but nothing of this magnitude, according to the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. A rebate program for energy-efficient washing machines in 2004 and 2005 doled out about $500,000 in funding as opposed to the $12 million that has been allocated for both phases of the rebate program this year in Illinois.
Each state and territory has selected its own set of products to rebate, based on the Energy Department’s list of recommended appliances: refrigerators, boilers, central air conditioners, room air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, furnaces (oil and gas), heat pumps (air source and geothermal) and water heaters.
According to the Energy Department, the average homeowner’s annual energy bill is $2,200. Heating and cooling account for about 46 percent of that and appliances 14 percent.
The older the appliance, the greater the savings when it is replaced. A washing machine from the 1970s guzzles about $195 in energy per year, while a 2009 Energy Star-rated washing machine consumes about $55 per year in energy, the Department of Energy said. A homeowner who replaces a pre-1993 refrigerator with a new energy-efficient appliance stands to save about $65 per year.
“I have a feeling people are literally waiting for (the program) to start,” said Barry Krasney, owner of Cole’s Appliance and Furniture in Chicago, referring to the Illinois appliance rebate program, which runs April 16 to 25.
Krasney said customers frequently inquire about Energy Star appliances. “There’s people who are definitely ‘I won’t buy anything except Energy Star,’” he said. There are other people who come in and they ask you questions, ‘Is it really worth it, me buying Energy Star?’”
Those who don’t plan to own their homes for very long sometimes decide the upfront cost won’t pay itself back fast enough, he said. Others see dividends or decide to purchase an energy-saving appliance for the environmental benefits.
“You pay to save,” said Krasney. “If you’re planning on keeping something for a very, very long time, it’s a definite plus. You will save money.”
Homeowner Scott Herr of Palatine, Ill., spends about $900 per year in home heating costs. His furnace was 15 years old when he decided to replace it with a new furnace and heat pump in the first phase of the state’s rebate program, which included rebates for upgrades to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and water heaters.
Herr, an information technology consultant who writes a blog called “The Frugal Nerd,” said his rebates and tax credits totaled $3,950: $1,000 for the heat pump, $350 for the furnace, a federal energy tax credit of $1,500 and a manufacturer rebate of $1,100. He’s looking at saving about $300 in energy costs.
After replacing most of his home’s appliances seven years ago, timing his electricity usage to coincide with less congested times for the grid and replacing his lighting with energy-efficient bulbs, Herr said he has been putting a lot of thought into how reducing his energy usage can help him save money.
“The furnace that we had was getting fairly old — approaching the end of its life — and this program was enough to push me over the edge,” he said.
Illinois appliance rebate program
Rebates for eligible clothes washers, dishwashers, room air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers begin April 16 and run through April 25. Before making a purchase, check for requirements and participating retailers at illinoisenergy.org/appliances.
Energy Star clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators and room air conditioners are eligible for an instant 15 percent discount off the purchase price at the time of sale. Consumers who purchase refrigerators or freezers are eligible for an additional $75 mail-in rebate when they submit proof that an old unit was hauled away. Appliances must be purchased for personal, residential use in order to qualify for a rebate.
Since the start of the program Jan. 31 with rebates for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and water heaters, $21 million has been pumped into the Illinois economy from those participating in the program, said Marcelyn Love, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. About $12.4 million was allocated for the rebates, and $6 million is available in Illinois for the appliance portion of the program, she said.
» posted on Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 at 12:37 pm by Woody Wilson viewed 334 times
Special Offers and Rebates from ENERGY STAR Partners
To encourage customers to buy energy efficient products, ENERGY STAR partners occasionally sponsor special offers, such as sales tax exemptions or credits, or rebates on qualified products. Partners also occasionally sponsor recycling incentives for the proper disposal of old products. The search below is provided as a service to consumers to find such special offers or rebates where they exist, based on information that partners submit to ENERGY STAR. Go to: Special Offer/Rebate Finder
Air Seal and Insulate with ENERGY STAR
Sealing and insulating the “envelope” or “shell” of your home — its outer walls, ceiling, windows, doors, and floors — is often the most cost effective way to improve energy efficiency and comfort. ENERGY STAR estimates that a knowledgeable homeowner or skilled contractor can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs (or up to 10% on their total annual energy bill) by sealing and insulating.
To Seal and Insulate with ENERGY STAR:
- Seal air leaks throughout the home to stop drafts,
- Add insulation to block heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer,
- Choose ENERGY STAR qualified windows when replacing windows.
If your attic is accessible and you like home improvement projects, you can Do-It-Yourself with help from our DIY Guide to Sealing and Insulating with ENERGY STAR. The Guide offers step-by-step instructions for sealing common air leaks and adding insulation to the attic.
You can also hire a contractor who will use special diagnostic tools to pinpoint and seal the hidden air leaks in your home. A Home Energy Rater can help you find contractors that offer air sealing services in your area.
Many air leaks and drafts are easy to find because they are easy to feel — like those around windows and doors. But holes hidden in attics, basements, and crawlspaces are usually bigger problems. Sealing these leaks with caulk, spray foam, or weather stripping will have a great impact on improving your comfort and reducing utility bills. Click on the house diagram to see common air leak locations that you should aim to seal.
Homeowners are often concerned about sealing their house too tightly; however, this is very unlikely in most older homes. A certain amount of fresh air is needed for good indoor air quality and there are specifications that set the minimum amount of fresh air needed for a house. If you are concerned about how tight your home is, hire a contractor, such as a Home Energy Rater, who can use diagnostic tools to measure your home’s actual leakage. If your home is too tight, a fresh air ventilation system may be recommended.
After any home sealing project, have a heating and cooling technician check to make sure that your combustion appliances (gas- or oil-fired furnace, water heater, and dryer) are venting properly. For additional information on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) issues related to homes, such as combustion safety, visit EPA’s Indoor Air Quality Web site.
Insulation keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. There are several common types of insulation — fiberglass (in both batt and blown forms), cellulose, rigid foam board, and spray foam. Reflective insulation (or radiant barrier) is another insulating product which can help save energy in hot, sunny climates.
When correctly installed with air sealing, each type of insulation can deliver comfort and lower energy bills during the hottest and coldest times of the year.
Insulation performance is measured by R-value — its ability to resist heat flow. Higher R-values mean more insulating power. Different R-values are recommended for walls, attics, basements and crawlspaces, depending on your area of the country. Insulation works best when air is not moving through or around it. So it is very important to seal air leaks before installing insulation to ensure that you get the best performance from the insulation.
- See Recommended Levels of Insulation to determine what is most cost-effective for your home.
- For more comprehensive information, check the Department of Energy’s online Insulation Guide .
To get the biggest savings, the easiest place to add insulation is usually in the attic. A quick way to see if you need more insulation is to look across your uncovered attic floor. If your insulation is level with or below the attic floor joists, you probably need to add more insulation. The recommended insulation level for most attics is R-38 (or about 12–15 inches, depending on the insulation type). In the coldest climates, insulating up to R-49 is recommended.
In houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. In a typical house, however, about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks and poorly sealed connections. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.
Because some ducts are concealed in walls and between floors, repairing them can be difficult. However, exposed ducts in attics, basements, crawlspaces, and garages can be repaired by sealing the leaks with duct sealant (also called duct mastic). In addition, insulating ducts that run through spaces that get hot in summer or cold in winter (like attics, garages, or crawlspaces) can save significant energy.
Additionally, if you are replacing your forced-air heating and cooling equipment, make sure your contractor installs the new system according to ENERGY STAR quality installation guidelines. A quality installation will include a thorough inspection of your duct system, including proper sealing and balancing of ductwork, to help ensure that your new system delivers the most comfort and efficiency.
- View Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Home Sealing
- View ENERGY STAR Insulation Manufacturer Partners
- About ENERGY STAR qualified windows designed for your climate
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