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Posts Tagged: utility rebates

Which Energy Upgrades Qualify for Utility Rebates?

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There are significant incentives provided by our local utilities to help us make saving energy a priority. Many product categories 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.

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

 

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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 2 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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Why Are There Utility Rebates for Energy Conservation?

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Our government and utilities generously fund rebates to incent our energy efficient upgrades. This is because 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.

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

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Why utility companies provide rebates

Posted On: Filed Under: Windows, Heating, Insulation No Comments on Why utility companies provide rebates

Why are there utility rebates?

Seattle City Light recently had a mail in offer for a free LED light bulb. It arrived in an attractive recyclable package with information about why this one bulb makes a difference. As they put it “conserving electricity is the most cost-effective way to meet our future energy needs”. In fact, utilities routinely offer their customers substantial rebates to encourage installation of a variety of energy saving equipment and measures for just that reason.

Why incent conservation?

In our capitalist economy it might seem counterintuitive for a business to ask customers to use less. Doesn’t that mean less profit for the utilities? No, that won’t happen. As the population of Washington State grows, there will be more and more demand, especially for electricity. If they can keep up with that demand using their existing infrastructure, it keeps our rates low and they make more money in the process. Rebates cost a lot less than building new power plants and that’s a win/win.

A second reason that conservation is incented in our area is that our state has a law requiring utilities to conserve, (The Clean Energy Initiative). Without getting into the complexities, the law requires utilities to hit conservation targets and invest in renewable energy or face penalties.

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How to take advantage of energy efficiency rebates

In Western Washington, all of our major utilities offer home energy efficiency rebates of some kind. This includes all of the local electric companies, plus Puget Sound Energy and Cascade Natural Gas. You can see a list of current rebates across the region on our site. Rebates cover energy saving upgrades such as high efficiency heating and window replacement, insulation and air sealing, toilets, water heaters, home energy audits, plus geothermal and solar energy. The value of the rebates can be $10 to $1800 for appliances and much more for solar panels. Every year the rebates change as they continue to calculate the savings gained from each measure and reassess what they can afford to offer to incent those savings.

Here’s how most Washington state utility rebates work:

  1. The utility defines the qualifications under which they will offer rebates or grants. For example, the rebate for a ductless heat pump might be only on units placed in a main living area (Tacoma Power), or on a 95% efficient furnace (PSE).
  1. Each utility accepts qualified contractors into their program, who they verify are licensed for their trade. (In some cases they allow DIY projects to qualify).
  1. They train the contractors how to work with their specific program, including paperwork requirements, inspections, quality standards etc. Typically contractors who are qualified by the utility can take the rebate right off the invoice, so you are not paying and then getting a check later.
  1. Where required, the customer may be asked to fill out an application in advance of the project. For example: if you are a Seattle City Light customer and would like a ductless heat pump, there is an application to file first to determine that you qualify.

There may be a few hoops to jump through to get the larger incentives, including applications, pre-inspections, in-progress inspections, and post inspections, depending on the utility or the project. It is, however, free money, and your contractor can walk you through any requirements.

Washington Energy Services is a qualified contractor for all major Western Washington utility rebate programs and can help you save on energy efficient upgrades. For more information, contact us today.

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