Clark Public Utilities has doubled its rebate amounts for a limited time for those who are looking to upgrade their windows or insulation.
New windows or insulation not only provide improvements to the home itself, but it can also save homeowners money later on, stated Clark PUD media specialist Dameon Pesanti.
“You can probably save up to 20% if people choose to take this limited-time opportunity,” Pesanti said.
To qualify, people must live in an electrically heated home.
“It’s a big advantage for people who live in older homes because starting in 1990, Washington state began ratcheting up its energy efficiency standards for home construction, and it’s only gotten higher and higher every year after,” he said.
In order to qualify for a rebate, the contractor who does the installation must be part of the PUD’s contractor network. The reason, Pesanti said, is because the contractors in the network have agreed to follow the PUD’s customer service standards and quality of work. Those contractors are also trained to fill out the paperwork needed to file rebates.
“All the customer has to do is sign a piece of paper,” Pesanti said.
The contractors must also meet the county’s licensing and bonding requirements.
According to Pesanti, a homeowner’s biggest energy expense is heating and cooling. Insulation, he said, is the most effective and cheapest way to save money on home energy bills.
“It takes effect immediately, makes you warm and comfortable all year round, and there’s no maintenance because once the insulation is in, the project’s done,” he said.
Having a contractor install insulation can also save money because they can acquire the material in bulk, which is cheaper than a homeowner purchasing the product at a retail rate, Pesanti said.
Since newer homes built after the energy efficient standard change in 1990 have better insulation, Pesanti said homes built before 1990 would benefit more from the installation and rebates.
“Most of the time, the rebate is included as a line item in the invoice so it’s an instant rebate for the customer and then we pay the rebate out to the contractor after the fact,” Pesanti said. “That’s not required though, so sometimes the customer pays the pre-rebated price to the contractor and then the rebate gets paid to the customer directly by us after the fact.”
Pesanti said those who are looking to get new windows or insulation should get at least three bids before proceeding with a replacement.
According to the PUD’s website, new homes are required to have R-49 insulation in the ceiling and R-30 insulation in the floor.
The website also lists other qualifications people may need to be eligible for the rebates.
“How much more insulation you need depends on the cost of the fuel you use to heat your home,” the website states. “From a purely financial standpoint, the less you pay for heating fuel, the less it makes sense for you to invest in more insulation.”
The website states that homes built in the 1960s and 1970s included little insulation because the cost of fuel didn’t justify an investment in insulation, but as heating costs increase, “it makes more financial sense to increase insulation.”
With the incentives, customers can get $1.20 per square foot for wall insulation, $6 per square foot for double pane windows, $8 per square foot for triple pane windows, and $100 for attic or crawl space air sealing.
A full list of the rebates is listed online at https://tinyurl.com/2p9x9vah. The list of eligible contractors can be found online at clarkpublicutilities.com/services/weatherization.
For more information, people can call 360-992-3355 to speak with an energy counselor.
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