Green Incentives

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There are thousands of energy efficiency improvement rebates available to residents and businesses. These programs vary by state, project type, project magnitude, and value of return. This section focuses on rebates; there is another section on possible tax credits related to energy efficiency improvements.

Normally it’s not required to use a contractor to earn rebates but contractors that participate in the utility provider’s program are selected for a reason. These contractors are more likely to handle the project most efficiently along with the rebate paperwork process with the utility provider for you….and help get you the maximum rebate. Completing the paperwork correctly can be difficult especially for the first time or if your project has several technical improvements. 

Incentive programs are usually funded through local, state, or federal governments and frequently have budget limitations. Therefore, funds can dry up before they’re re-funded. You may want to delay a project if the funding is unavailable but there isn’t a guarantee the program gets re-funded. 

DSIRE®

There is one site that captures all these options better than all the others, called DSIRE®. This site offers numerous ways to sort/filter to browse various incentives. Sort and filter nearly an infinite set of combinations such by state, zip codes, utility providers, incentive types, and programs. 

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Making It Happen

To get this type of incentive normally a utility provider conducts a baseline assessment to validate an improvement after implementation. In other words, there needs to be evidence of an energy efficiency gain. This is also done to prevent people from finding old inefficient items laying around in the boneyard and simply trying to turn them in for money.

In some cases, you can get incentives just for agreeing to allow your utility provider to conduct an study. There are also incentives for preventive maintenance and tune-ups.

Take a look at some of the everyday residential items that could apply for a rebate: The values are for illustrative purposes only and vary by program. Contact us if you’d like help looking for rebates that could apply to you.

WiFi Thermostat: $50/unit
Central Air Conditioner Diagnostic Tune Up: $50/unit
Refrigerator Recycling: $50/unit
Lighting: Varies
Clothes Dryer: $25/unit
Clothes Washers: $25 – $50/unit
Room Air Conditioner: $25/unit
Dehumidifier: $25/unit
Room Air Purifier: $25/unit
Pool Pump: $350/unit
Attic/Ceiling Insulation: $125/unit
Building Insulation: $25 – $125
Windows: $15/window
Doors: $40/door

Keep in mind that one qualifier is normally that these items be in working condition prior to upgrading. The utility provider will often want verification that the item functions. This is done to avoid old scrapped units from being recycled over and over again for the quick rebate and defeating the purpose of the program.  

Lighting Conversion

A popular incentive over the last decade has been converting lighting from flourescent bulbs to LED’s. This is mostly applicable to businesses where there is a higher quantity but it could be applied at a residence.

Keep that in mind if you are replacing incandescent bulbs to flourescent bulbs or to LED’s. The most common and significant savings in electricity is going from the older incandescent bulbs to LED’s.   

Payback calculations have come down from >10yrs to 2-3yrs typically, with the rebate factored into the equation. 

Another factor is the lower ongoing maintenance. Not only will you get a rebate and use less energy, usually you will replace fewer bulbs/fixtures in the long run. This reduces your costs and saves a little time.

Easy Money

This is simply to easy to not take advantage. Just about any improvement that increases efficiency or reduces the use of natural resources can qualify for a rebate. This applies to appliances/items that use electricity and/or natural gas.

To make this happen:

  • You must first recognize the opportunity – educate your self and do the research. You may find other surprisingly easy ideas to earn more rebates.
  • Verify with your utility provider that a rebate does exist and the timeframe to execute.
  • Go through the baseline measurement process. In other words, you usually can not get the rebate unless the utility provider authorizes in advance. They need proof of a Before & After improvement. You normally just can’t tell them you replaced a refrigerator and expect them to give you $50 after you did this. 
  • Follow the process from start to finish. 

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Six Sigma Material
Six Sigma Material
3 months ago

A friend of our had a furnace replaced by Stahl & Sons in Lansing, MI. Stahl did a great job handling the rebate process. We received $250 by upgrading to a 95% efficiency furnace through Consumers Energy.😊

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