Energize Delaware Rebates moving from kitchen to basement for bigger savings appliance rebates end Aug. 31
After a successful year, the SEU Energize Delaware residential appliance rebate program will end as planned on Aug. 31, segueing into rebates for energy efficient heating and cooling systems and discount efficient lighting.
Delaware was the first state in the nation to launch the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded appliance rebate program and is poised to be among the first to use federal funds to launch rebates for upgraded HVAC, whole-home energy audits and comprehensive weatherization.
“We got Delaware’s attention with rebates for a range of popular household appliances, and are now offering opportunities to graduate to bigger savings through heating and cooling upgrades and discounts for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs),” said SEU co-chair state Sen. Harris McDowell III. “The appliances homeowners interact with every day were great ‘savings starters.’ Now we can take the savings and expand them from the kitchen to the basement to other parts of the house.”
“With more than 290,000 central air conditioning systems in the state, homeowners could collectively save enough energy to provide all the electrical power needs for over 18,000 homes and save more than $30 million per year by upgrading to an Energy Star cooling systems,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “We know that Delawareans want to participate in the state’s transition to a cleaner environment and green economy and the on-going SEU rebates make it possible for more residents to take part and save money at the same time.”
Since the appliance rebate program started Sept. 1, 2009, nearly 12,000 rebates have been processed for appliances that will collectively save more than $260,000 and cut nearly 3 million pounds of CO2 emissions. Qualified appliances sold on or before Aug. 31 will still be eligible for rebates with an appropriately dated receipt. Rebate forms can be downloaded from the Energize Delaware Web site. Marketing signs in stores will start being removed Aug. 17.
SEU representatives are working with retailers to make the shift from efficient appliances to heating and cooling upgrades and discount lighting. Sales staff will learn about ways they can help customers reduce their energy bills even further by contacting participating HVAC contractors and retailers carrying discounted compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).
Both new programs can increase savings dramatically. CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. The single greatest energy consumer in a home is heating and cooling. Upgrades can cut energy usage for heating and cooling as much as 30 to 50 percent.
Big-box stores, including the Home Depot and Sam’s Club, are offering discounts electronically at the cash register for select Energy Star CFLs. Participating smaller retailers offer customers coupons that can be redeemed at the register. Discounted prices can range from 99 cents for a four-pack to $1.50 per bulb.
There are 13.4 million residential sockets in Delaware, and 85 percent are estimated to still use inefficient incandescent bulbs. An Energy Star CFL saves about $30 over its lifetime and pays for itself in about six months.
Because CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, consumers are encouraged to recycle the bulbs.
More than 20 participating contractors are now qualified to offer homeowners rebates from $400 to $550 for replacing their existing heating and cooling system with select Energy Star-qualified equipment. Heating and cooling equipment efficiency decreases dramatically with age. Replacing older, less efficient equipment before it breaks down can save money on utility bills and ensures continued comfort.
The heating and cooling system rebates represent the first phase of the program. The second and third phases of the program will start in the fall, allowing homeowners to take advantage of comprehensive whole home audits and financial help for more comprehensive energy solutions.
Energize Delaware has a variety of additional energy solutions and incentives for businesses, schools, hospitals and nonprofits:
· Rebates of up to $20,000 per facility for upgrading to more efficient commercial kitchen equipment, motors and drives, lighting, HVAC and water heating.
· Up to $2,000 to help pay for energy audits.
· Loans up to $250,000 per project.
· A performance contracting program for government buildings, schools, hospitals, universities and nonprofits to identify and finance upgrades that lock in long-term energy and cost savings.
For more information, visit the Web site at www.energizedelaware.org.