Sail Into Energy Savings
April 08, 2014
You can find a treasure trove of savings this spring through the City’s Energy Smart Plus (e+) program. A wide variety of no-cost and low-cost products and services can help you save energy, water and money.
If you’ve been thinking about home improvements, this a great time to start projects, especially energy makeovers.
As the weather gets warmer, we usually enjoy a period of sunny, dry weather in May. And if you act now, you can beat the mid-summer rush. Local HVAC installers and other contractors are often ready to work quickly in spring but can be booked solid by July.
What’s more, solar photovoltaic (PV) equipment prices are falling. If you haven’t heard, installed costs of rooftop PV systems have been in a steep decline over the last few years. Home PV installations that cost over $10/watt in 2009 are now under $5/watt.
The City’s Energy Efficiency Loan Program continues to finance both kinds of solar products: Solar PV, and solar thermal (hot water heating). You can also take advantage of a 30 percent federal tax credit for eligible solar units, available through December 31, 2016.
If you’re installing solar PV, consider replacing electric heating appliances with natural gas appliances.
This is a wise strategy: To get the most out of your solar PV system, reduce your home’s electric usage by switching primary heating loads from electric to gas.
Best targets for change out are dryers, ranges, central home heating units and water heaters. The City offers loans and rebates for these measures, as well as for natural gas pool and spa heaters, fire logs and outdoor grills.
There are also rebates for ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, such as:
- Clothes Washers - $100
- Refrigerators - $75
- Freezers - $40
For more information about solar equipment, PV net metering, City loan programs and rebates, gas appliance conversions, ceiling insulation grants or other e+ programs, call 891.4YOU (4968).