Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Make use of energy rebates

Home improvement might not be on everyone's mind as we enter the holiday season. But it should be.

Over the next six weeks, there's an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of some of the strongest energy-efficiency incentives in decades. What does that mean to you? Well, by making smart investments in improving the energy efficiency of your home or business, you could enjoy thousands of dollars in rebates and tax credits. Take, for example, a furnace—not an inexpensive piece of equipment. If your furnace warrants replacement, you could have a $5,000 furnace installed for only about $1,900 to $2,500, depending on the location and after federal, state and local incentives. That's about 50 to 63 percent off.

Now that's the good news. The bad news is that time is running out. Many of the federal tax credits expire at the end of the year. The state appliance rebates are running close to empty and, depending on where you live, there might be a waiting list for the local $2,000 rebate.

But don't let that discourage you. You should call now to get your name on the waiting list for the local Community Audit and Retrofit Rebate Program. The funds that are reserved ($2,000 per) are only reserved and the individual has 90 days to complete the retrofit. Most importantly, the average rebate is most likely going to be less than $2,000. All the "leftover" funds then get repooled and made available to the next person on the waiting list. This process will continue until the funds are all spend or until the end of next year. If there are any leftover funds after property owners in all seven communities have had a reasonable amount of time to take advantage of this program, then all the leftover funds will again be repooled and offered to those on the waiting list. So if Sun Valley owners don't use all their funds, these leftover funds could then be offered to owners in other communities, like Hailey. But you have to have your name on the list, and the sooner the better.

The Environmental Resource Center will be hosting a talk on home energy audits and the various energy incentives tonight at 6 p.m. at The Community Library. Come to learn more about what an energy audit is, how it can help you save money and increase the value of your home and how best to approach the financial incentive puzzle. You can find out about the local CARRP program by visiting the ERC's website at or by calling the ERC at 726-4333.

Craig Barry

Executive Director

Environmental Resource Center

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