Home Performance Rebates are Changing!

Home Performance Rebates are Changing!

If you have had a home energy audit in Maryland since 2013, chances are you learned about and maybe took advantage of rebates for energy efficiency improvements available through the major Maryland electric utilities (Potomac Edison, PEPCO, BGE). Since 2013, the rebates have been 50% off the installed cost of insulation, air sealing, or duct sealing improvements up to a rebate maximum of $2500.  But on August 15th, 2017, the rebates are changing.

The New Rebate Structure

Effective 15 August 2017, the rebates on insulation, air sealing, duct sealing and other energy efficiency improvements offered through the major electric utilities will be based on a project's projected energy savings rather than the cost to complete the project. To determine the projected energy savings for typical energy efficiency upgrades like adding insulation to an attic, or sealing air leaks in a duct system, a home energy audit needs to be completed on the home. Using the data from the home energy audit, the proposed improvements are entered into an energy modeling program available through each of the major electric utilities which will determine the estimated savings and ultimately how much of a rebate each project is eligible for. So projects that save more energy will be paid higher rebates, and those which save less energy will be eligible for lower rebate incentives.

The Good News

Under the new structure, the maximum rebate for a home is going to be up to 75% of the total cost of the improvements or $7500 whichever is lower. In addition to the insulation, air sealing, and duct sealing projects that were rebated previously, now replacement HVAC equipment like Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps are also eligible for rebates based on their project energy savings. So for homeowners who are considering a full home energy improvement, the available rebate will likely be higher than the current rebate system. Customers who have already participated in the current rebate program but have only received the $2500 rebate, are still eligible for up to $7500 in rebates if they have more energy savings projects to complete on their home.

The Bad News

Unfortunately, the new rebate program emphasizes electric savings significantly higher than other fuel sources. So for homes that use natural gas, propane, or fuel oil to heat their homes, the calculated rebate will be much lower than the current rebate system. Natural Gas savings are incentivized at a very low rate, and propane or fuel oil savings are not incentivized at all. The electric utilities are estimating that insulation, air sealing, and duct sealing projects that were previously receiving rebates of $2500 will likely only be eligible for rebates between $1000 to $2000 under the new rebate structure.

Act Now

If you have not already participated in the home energy efficiency rebate program, it’s not too late! From June 15th to August 15th, the rebate program will be undergoing a transition to the new structure. Projects completed during that time period are eligible for either rebate, depending on which one is larger. So, if you are still considering completing energy efficiency improvements on your home, we encourage you to contact us now to schedule your home improvement work. All improvements must be completed by 15 August 2017 in order for you to take advantage of the current, more generous, rebate program.