Incentive Programs for Energy Efficiency

James Stevenson, Pinellas County Extension Specialist, Urban Sustainability

Raise your hand if you’d like some free money.

OK, you can put it down now. By taking simple steps to improve the energy efficiency of your home you may qualify for local and Federal incentives to help defer the cost.

Our local energy provider, Progress Energy, offers many and varied incentives. The key to unlocking them all is the Home Energy Check. This is an audit of your home’s bit and pieces that contribute to energy demands. The resulting report is the baseline for efficiency improvements.

The Home Energy Check can be done online as a self-assessment, through a telephone conversation with a Progress Energy Representative, or an in-person walkthrough.

After completing the Home Energy Check, there are several inspections that can lead to cash incentives. One is a Duct Test, for this a Progress Energy certified contractor inspects your attic ductwork for leaks, breaks, etc. (a chilly attic in summer is usually a good sign that there is a leak somewhere…)

Following the Duct Test, if a repair is needed, the cost of that repair can be offset by as much as $150—a gift from your energy provider!

There are other Progress Energy incentives, including a Heat Pump Check/Repair, Insulation Check and Replacement, Window/Skylight/Door Replacement and even cash towards replacing an inefficient roof with a more reflective type. Please note that these inspections will only qualify for incentives if a Home Energy Check is completed first.

Federal incentives, combined with local incentives make taking that step toward energy-efficiency retrofits even more appealing. Some Federal incentives cover at least 30% of the cost of the project, some max out at $1500, and for others there is NO upper limit. Make sure you read the fine print some only cover installing the changes, while others cover installation and the cost of materials, and other just the cost of materials.

The Federal incentives are paid in the form of tax credits. Not, cash in hand. A draft of the IRS form for filing to claim your credits can be found here.

We are offering a free, 30-minute webinar on this subject that delves a bit deeper into these topics.

Join us on Wednesday, August 26 and/or Wednesday, September 2nd for “Solutions in 30 – Financial Incentives for Home Energy Savings” from 12:15-12:45. To register for this live presentation, visit, click the ‘Online Registration’ button and follow that link to the “Solutions in 30” tab.

Reference: Energy Efficient Homes: Incentive Programs for Energy Efficiency


Posted: August 25, 2009

Category: Home Management, Money Matters, Work & Life

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