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Posts Tagged: home energy efficiency

How To Get A Utility Rebate for Saving Energy

Posted On: Filed Under: Windows, Heating, Cooling, Air conditioning, Home energy audit, Tips to save money 4 Comments on How To Get A Utility Rebate for Saving Energy

Why Are There Utility Rebates?

Our state has set efficiency and conservation requirements for our utilities to hit. “The total amount of savings regulated utilities expected to save in 2017 was roughly equivalent to the amount of electricity it would take to power over 38,000 homes, and the amount of natural gas it would take to supply approximately 7,000 homes,” (Source WA Utilities and Transportation Committee; 2018 goals not posted). In fact, Washington State is a leader in energy efficiency, and has consistently ranked in the top ten on the national American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s State Energy Efficiency Scorecard since 2007.

Homeowners get to benefit as the utilities pass along a portion of the energy savings to us in the form of rebates. The primary utilities in Western Washington are Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, and Snohomish PUD, but all of our local power companies have some rebates.

What Energy Upgrades Qualify For Utility Rebates?

Even save money with utility rebates on smaller items like light bulbs.

There are many product categories that have utility rebates available, and each utility has slightly different offers. The primary emphasis is on saving electricity. Additional goals include efficient use of natural gas or water through high efficiency equipment.

While the majority of Washington’s electricity is from clean hydroelectric sources, our state wants to conserve its use so that we can grow without burning more coal or adding more power plants, (plus let’s be real, they sell some to other states). Electricity savings come from, for example, installation of solar panels or efficient heat pumps, conversion from electric heating to natural gas, and LED light bulbs.

Alongside direct energy savings from appliances is a goal of improved home performance, meaning roughly that our homes are sealed and insulated to retain the heating and cooling we put into them. That’s where windows and insulation earn their rebates.

Instant and Turn-key Rebate Options

For heating, air conditioning, gas fireplaces, insulation, windows, and boilers, the utility’s approved contractors, (including Washington energy services), provide qualified systems and trained installation. As a partner with the major utilities, we handle all aspects of the rebate process for our customers; providing qualified products, filling out paperwork accurately and submitting it to the utility. In most cases we can take the rebate amount right off of the invoice, so there is no waiting for a check to come.

Other types of rebates available:

For light bulbs and smaller items, rebates are available on the electric utility’s website. For low flow toilets, which have rebates up to $100, rebates can be found here for Seattle.  For solar or wind rebates and federal tax credits, visit the Washington State new solar incentives page and be sure to review qualified products with your contractor.

For more information or to schedule your rebate qualified upgrade, contact Washington Energy Services.

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Five signs it’s time for a Home Energy Audit

Posted On: Filed Under: Home energy audit No Comments on Five signs it’s time for a Home Energy Audit

A home energy audit can help homeowners identify problem areas and take steps to improve efficiency and reduce their environmental impact, such as installing a heat pump or more efficient appliances.

A home energy audit is a comprehensive process that involves checking for window and door drafts, inspecting HVAC systems, evaluating appliances, examining insulation, checking ductwork, and more. Qualified technicians will use infrared cameras and other tools to carefully examine your home for potential energy waste. When they’re done, technicians will provide homeowners with a report and suggestions concerning how to improve energy efficiency.

home energy audit seattle

If you’re on the fence about whether to schedule a home energy audit, here are a few signs that your home needs one:

  • Your energy bills are higher than your neighbors’ bills – Talk to neighbors about their monthly electric bills. If their homes are about the same size as yours and have the same number of occupants, their electric bills shouldn’t be too different from yours. If their bills are significantly lower, it could be a sign that your home has some efficiency issues.
  • Inconsistent room temperatures – If you need to wear a parka in your living room but your bedroom is sweltering, it’s a good sign that there are some issues with your HVAC system or that leaks are present in your windows and doors. A home energy audit can isolate the problem.
  • You have older appliances – There are many perfectly good older appliances that have decent energy efficiency ratings. That said, appliances manufactured 10 years ago are nowhere near efficient as modern appliances. Older appliances may have their efficiency even further diminished by age and wear and tear.
  • Strange smells in the house – If there’s a rotten egg smell in your home, this can indicate a gas leak. If your home smells like the fireplace or garage, this could indicate substantial air leakage. An energy audit can determine the cause of the problem.
  • Condensation on your walls or windows – This can indicate a water leak or ventilation problem, both issues that can impact the energy efficiency of your home.

By scheduling an audit and following the recommendations the audit will provide, you can greatly increase the efficiency of your home and head off potential problems from mold, moisture damage, or other home repair issues.

When hiring a contractor to provide a home energy audit, it’s important to find a company with significant experience in providing home energy audits. These audits require special tools and training, so a professional firm with a track record of success is the ideal choice.

Washington Energy Services is a family-owned business providing home energy efficiency solutions to Seattle area clients.  Founded in 1957, Washington Energy Services has generations of experience in providing heating and cooling and other energy-related services, including sales, installation, and service. A member of the Puget Sound Energy Contractor Alliance Network, Washington Energy Services has an excellent local business reputation.

Click here to book a Home Energy Audit

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