How energy-conscious homeowners can receive incentives from utility companies
A growing number of utility companies are rewarding customers for cutting down on their A/C usage during the summer months.
By reducing A/C usage and overall home energy consumption, both utility companies and homeowners are saving money—and the environment.
[Related: Why utilities should engage their customers]
Here are just a few incentives utility companies are offering to homeowners for cutting their energy usage:
A/C Replacement Rebates
One of the biggest energy eaters in any household are air conditioning systems. Cooling a home – especially during the hot summer months – can raise energy usage upwards of 70 percent.
That's why more and more utility companies across the country are offering replacement rebates for homeowners who upgrade to energy efficient A/C systems.
These utility rebates cover a number of different A/C systems:
- HVAC Replacement Rebate—Homeowners in participating states who replace their entire air conditioning and heat pump system can receive up to an $850 rebate on their new unit.
- A/C Downsize Rebate—Many homeowners have air conditioning systems that are simply too large for their homes. As a result, utility companies are offering a $300 rebate for A/C size/tonnage reductions.
- AquaChill Upgrade Incentives—As the following article looks at, current homeowners and homebuyers making summer moves on a budget can upgrade their A/C system to an AquaChill unit. These units pre-cool a standard air conditioner's refrigerant coils with misting water. Utility companies are offering homeowners rebates and attractive financing for choosing this energy reduction option, which helps lower electric bills over time.
Attic Insulation Incentives
A large part of the energy efficiency of a home is its level of attic insulation: Without the proper amount of attic insulation, air conditioners have to work extra hard to cool interior spaces. This, of course, results in increased energy usage and higher electric bills.
To help reduce this unnecessary energy usage, participating utility companies are offering homeowners attic insulation replacement rebates.
By replacing old attic insulation with R-38 grade insulation or greater, utility companies are offering homeowners substantial rebates per square-foot of attic space.
Wireless Thermostat Incentives
Utility companies across the country are quickly realizing how beneficial wireless thermostats are when it comes to home energy efficiency.With wireless thermostats, homeowners are able adjust their air conditioners from anywhere using their smart phones.
Utility companies are encouraging homeowners to purchase energy-efficient wireless thermostats by offering reduced pricing and free installation.
The utility industry is behind the push for wireless thermostats because they allow homeowners to fine-tune their systems from anywhere as opposed to running them around the clock.
Home Performance Programs
A growing number of local utility companies are offering home performance programs in order to reduce energy usage. Also referred to as energy audits, these programs are low or no cost and help homeowners discover energy problems in their home.
Whether it's insufficient attic insulation, outdated windows, an oversized A/C unit, leaky air ducts, or conditioned air loss due to damaged / missing weather stripping, home performance programs are helping utility companies reduce local energy consumption through homeowner awareness.
About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including the utilities industry and the environment
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.