Energy Upgrade California Rebates Explained (as of 2013)
Upgrading your home is an investment, and it’s a difficult one to predict or quantify.
However with the right upgrade package, you can greatly increase and speed up the return
on your investment, by qualifying for energyupgrade rebates through the EUC program (Energy Upgrade
California). If you are thinking of installing a new furnace or air conditioner, insulation, duct
work, air sealing or anything to boost your energy load reduction (making your home more
energy efficient), you will want to have a quick look at how the rebate works.
What you can save: The energy upgrade rebates are customized to your house or building. The
goal is to make the most cost-effective improvements to your home’s energy efficiency,
which is measured/tested both before and after the work is done. Thus your energy load
reduction is determined, which in turn determines the amount of your rebate. The rebate
amount can range from $1,000, for upgrades that provide a 10% energy load reduction, up
to $4,500 for a 45% (or higher) energy load reduction. The average improvement is around
26%, for a $2,500 rebate. The rebates are in increments of $500. So for example, if you are
getting upgrades that have been calculated to provide a 37% energy load reduction then
you would receive $3500. Also, your county and city may offer additional incentives that
could cover up to 15% of your project.
How it works: Find a home performance contractor. They will be able to explain the
energy modeling concept and rebate potential. If you decide to proceed, they will perform
an energy audit, and formulate an energy assessment report, which will include the whole-
house energy loads, and a detailed analysis of all areas of potential improvement. Lastly,
an energy model will be created based off data collected during assessment. Using all this,
they will recommend an upgrade package, and give an accurate rebate estimate, based on
the scope of the work and the energy model.
This sounds a bit complicated, but it is all intended to give you the best bang for your buck
upgrades, and the best rebate possible for the amount of work done. Homeowners are
rewarded for intelligently choosing the priority energy upgrade projects. After a package is
chosen, work is scheduled, and a contract is formed. Then the upgrades are installed, and
the contractor will perform the final test, and submit corresponding rebate forms. The rebate
check is issued directly to the homeowner, and generally takes 2-3 weeks to process. Bear
in mind, this is a government funded program, so your contractor has no reason not to get
you the best rebate possible.
Additional Options: If you want to go the extra mile, there are several options which
improve energy efficiency and comfort, and reduce environmental impact. Combined
Hydronic Air Handlers can be a great option. Crawlspace vapor barriers, correctly
engineered sealed duct systems and efficient HVAC systems also provide large energy load
reductions and rebates. The Green Label Rebate program can earn you the distinctive
Greenpoint Rated label, and additional energy upgrade rebates. Ask your contractor for additional info and
recommendations based on your home and location.
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