Home Upgrades That Can Get You a Utility Rebate or Discount
The warm winds of summer are gusting faster than you may realize. Now is the time to improve your home and lifestyle by fixing or buying a new air conditioner, adding insulation, repairing leaky air ducts, as well as other similar projects.
But what you may not realize is that rebates might be available from your utility company for many of these improvements.
So, if you want to do one of these upgrades, check your power company’s website to see if a rebate or discount is possible. You often need to hire contractors from an approved list by the utility company to qualify.
There are also deadlines to meet. Some rebates may be for jobs that must be completed by a particular date. But check offers carefully and call your utility if you have questions. Utilities also reserve the right to cancel these programs at any time.
What follows are some of the rebates the three biggest utilities in Arizona – Salt River Project (SRP), Arizona Public Service (APS), and Tucson Electric Power (TEP) – can give you if you meet the deadlines and fill out the right forms.
We admit, of course, that the size of rebates can look tiny in many cases compared to the price of the job you want done. On the other hand, many improvements can save hundreds of dollars a year on energy costs.
1 | Whole House Energy Audit
Both APS and SRP have these programs. They may use a different name for the process -- like “home performance” checkup. Basically, a trained contractor comes out to analyze your house and see how it can be made more energy efficient. The analysis, which could cost as much as $400, will cost you $99. Your insulation, heating, AC systems, and air ducts are part of the audit. SRP offers another rebate of $100 if you make a recommended energy-saving improvement that costs more than $200.
2 | Duct Testing and Repair
APS offers a rebate of up to $400 per system when a participating contractor tests and repairs air leaks in your duct system and rebates up to $200 for duct sealing. SRP offers up to $250 for testing and repair of ducts; TEP offers up to $450 for duct sealing, based on the amount of leakage reduced.
3 | A New AC or Heat-Pump
If you replace an AC or heat pump that is more than 10 years old, you could get $245 in rebates from APS.
SRP will rebate $400 on an AC or heat pump that has an energy rating of 16.0 or higher, $600 on one with an energy rating of 17.0 or higher or $800 for a unit with a variable capacity compressor.
TEP has a rebate of up to $1,000 for AC or heat pump replacement with early retirement of an existing system that meets certain requirements. Another TEP rebate offers up to $650.
4 | A Tune-up on Your AC
APS offers a $95 rebate on an advanced AC tune-up, recommended every six years. SRP offers a discounted HVAC checkup for $65.95. TEP will pay rebates of $70 for a refrigerant change, $40 for an indoor coil cleaning and $25 for an outdoor coil cleaning.
5 | New Thermostat
TEP customers can get a $50 credit on their power bill for buying and properly installing a Nest Learning Thermostat in their home. This is a thermostat that programs itself based on temperatures that you use frequently, automatically saves energy when you’re away, and can be controlled by your smartphone. APS also has a $75 rebate for smart thermostats that are properly installed and activated. You can get a rebate for up to five thermostats if you have five AC systems.
6 | Pool Pump Replacement
TEP is offering an instant rebate of $200 for customers who buy an energy saving variable-speed pool pump.
7 | Free Trees
SRP’s Shade Tree Program provides customers with up to two free desert-adapted trees (4-to-6-foot saplings) to plant at their homes. Participants must attend a free workshop to learn how to best plant and care for trees. Space is limited.
You might have noticed that we’re not including the rules and possible rebates for solar power installations; look for that update coming soon.
In the meantime, be sure to check with your utility online to see how you can save money.