There are excellent energy rebate programs going on all across the U.S. to make your home more energy efficient. No matter what state you live in, the majority of local electric utility distribution providers are offering financial incentives to homeowners to upgrade the energy efficiency of their home. What is available in your area is totally dependent upon which specific local distribution supplier that you have. Not everyone lives in an area where incentive programs are available. It's up to each individual homeowner to find out what is available in their own location.

All programs vary, from state-to-state, city-to-city, and local geographical locations. There is a wide spectrum of energy rebates running from a free replacement of your home thermostat to $15,000 for installing a solar energy system in your home. Most rebates cover insulation, radiant barrier, and HVAC upgrades. Some programs offer rebates for installing solar screens, solar water heaters, and energy efficient windows. Most programs offer a solar energy discount ranging from $2 to $3 per kilowatt installed in your home. Each program has specific coverages and qualification requirements.

The local electric distribution service providers are offering free money to upgrade your home to lessen the load off of local electrical transmission grids which capacities are frequently overloaded. The majority of transmission lines in the USA are outdated and very expensive to upgrade or replace. Many of our transmission lines were built 20 to 30 years ago, in some cases even more. In simple terms, the grid is struggling to keep up with population growth, new homes, and new businesses. 

To find out what incentives are available in your area, you must contact your personal local electric distribution provider. Your provider is not always who you buy power from. In deregulated areas, you must contact the company you call when the power goes out. That is your distribution provider. Which company handles outages in your area should be listed on your latest electric bill. Start by visiting their website. Most energy efficiency programs are listed on company websites. In most cases, you can contact your provider by either email or phone.

As an example, in the Dallas Forth Worth area in North Texas:  If you live in Dallas, you would need to call Oncor. Oncor handles the electric distribution in the majority of the DFW metroplex. Up the road 20 miles north, in Lewisville, you would call TNMP (Texas New Mexico Power). If you lived 10 miles further north, in Denton, you would need to contact Denton Municipal Electric. Oncor, TNMP, and Denton Municipal Electric all have energy efficiency programs. All 3 programs vary in product categories, dollar amounts, and percentages of coverage.

Two cream of the crop programs going in the State of Texas are in Austin and Denton.  Both Austin Energy at the State Capitol and Denton Municipal Electric in Denton have excellent energy efficiency programs. Austin Energy offers rebates on programmable thermostats, HVAC upgrades, heat pumps, window AC units, and several types of water heaters. Denton Municipal Electric offers rebates for insulation, solar screens, energy efficient window upgrades, HVAC upgrades, programmable thermostats, and solar energy systems.

Here is a breakdown of rebates offered by Denton Municipal Electric:

  • Programmable Thermostats: $50 per unit/ up to 50%
  • Insulation: $400 per structure/ up to 50%
  • Radiant Barrier: $300 per structure
  • Solar Screens: $200 per structure/ up to 30%
  • HVAC Upgrades: $700 per unit limit (16 SEER or higher)
  • Windows: $500 per structure/ up to 30%
  • Solar Water Heaters: $300 per structure/ up to 50%
  • Solar Energy System: $15,000 maximum/ $3 per watt

When you compare the two programs, they are very similar, yet, there are differences. Both programs cover solar energy systems, HVAC upgrades, and solar water heaters. However, the Austin Energy program does not cover radiant barrier, windows, or solar screens. On the other hand, the Austin Energy program offers rebates for new window air conditioning units and free programmable thermostats at no cost to customers (certain conditions apply).

The bottom line is that each program is unique in each locality. Two unique examples are: in Marshall, Minnesota, Marshall Municipal Utilities offers customers rebates for load management, lighting, and holiday lighting. In Idaho Falls, Idaho, Idaho Falls Power offers free energy audits, rebates for manufactured homes, and zero interest loans for energy efficient appliances.

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