Looking for home energy efficiency incentives and rebates? The search is over—
Looking to make some big energy-efficiency changes in your home? We can help!
Virginia Energy Sense has compiled an easy-to-use list of all federal, state and utility incentives available to Virginians. These can help you offset purchases and installation costs of energy efficiency upgrades and equipment, and can even help you lower your tax bill. Now that’s a deal!
Here’s a brief overview of the incentives available, but be sure to visit our Incentives page to find direct links to more information.
Renewable Energy Rebates
- Renewable Energy Tax Credit – 30%tax credit for renewable energy purchases
Appliances and Energy Efficiency Equipment
- Charlottesville Gas Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate – $100 rebate for energy efficient equipment
- City of Danville Utilities Home$ave Rebate Program – $25-$350 rebates for energy efficient products
- Columbia Gas Energy Efficiency Rebate – $50-$300 rebates for energy efficient appliances
- Geothermal Heat Pump Rebate – 20% rebates for geothermal heat pumps
- Load Management Program for Electric Water Heaters and HVAC – Rebates for energy efficient hot water heaters and/or HVAC repairs
- Thermostat Rebate for Charlottesville Gas Customers – $100 rebate for the purchase and/or installation of a programmable thermostat
Audits and Home Efficiency Improvements
- Dominion Virginia Power Free Home Energy Audit for Income-Qualified Customers – A free in-home energy audit for Dominion customers
- Dominion Virginia Power Smart Cooling Rewards for Smart Switch Installation – A $40 rebate for Dominion customers who participating in Smart Switch program
- Home Energy Loss Prevention (HELP) – Free visual energy audit; rebate for selection of energy efficient equipment and other energy and cost-saving home repair benefits
- NEXT STEP Energy Efficiency Rebates (Hampton Roads Area Residents) – $1500 rebates for non-appliance Energy Star Upgrades; $2,500 for air sealing, duct sealing, & insulation
- Rappahannock Electric Cooperative – Free energy audit
- WarmWise Home Savings Evaluation – Free online energy audit
- Weatherization Assistance Program – Financial assistance for weatherization
How to- Top 10 Efficiency Upgrades Renters Can Make
When you think of home energy savings, oftentimes, folks assume they must own their own home to make changes and energy efficient upgrades. But there’s actually plenty of things renters can do to help reduce their energy impact, including many simple and low or no cost projects that can still bring a significant impact.
If you live in a rental property and can’t commit to more permanent efficiency solutions, we have a list of projects just for you. Once you’ve cleared the project with your landlord, reference these 10 ideas to reduce your utility bills and energy use:
- Install a Programmable Thermostat: A programmable thermostat makes it easier for you to save energy by offering specific settings to regulate temperatures in your home while accounting for variables including time of day, seasons and your schedule. Programmable thermostats can range in price from $20 to a few hundred dollars, but check with your utility provider — some may install one for free or provide an incentive towards your purchase.
- Install Gaskets Behind Outlets & Switches: You should install gaskets to prevent unnecessary heat gain or loss depending on the time of year. The purpose of foam gaskets is to seal off the wall cavity behind outlets & switch receptacles. If you were to conduct a “blower door test,” you would be amazed to find a generous amount of outside air blowing out from these points.
- Caulk & Seal Around Windows and Doors: Leaks and drafts cause unnecessary expenses. Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping all doors and windows. Also use locks on your windows to make them tighter and draft resistant. According to the Department of Energy, if you reduce drafts in your home you can cut your energy bill by as much as 30%!
- Use Power Strips: Put laptop AC adapters, cell phone and other electronic device chargers on power strips that can be turned off — or will turn off automatically. The charger draws power continuously, even when the devices are not plugged into the adapter.
- Check Your Water Heater Settings: Lower your water heater’s maximum temperature — 120 degrees should be sufficient. The energy savings are 7-11% of water heating costs. You can also wrap your water heater with an insulation blanket available at your local hardware store.
- Replace The Furnace Filter: Have your cooling system serviced once a year and regularly replace furnace filters. During the summer months when cooling is used most frequently, change or clean furnace filters once a month.
- Use Energy Efficient Bulbs: Replace regular light bulbs with energy efficient compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). Consider LED lights for outdoor areas. Switching one CFL can save $40 or more over the lifetime of the bulb and LED lights use at least 75% less energy than incandescent lighting.
- Install Window Shades: Keep shades and curtains closed during the day on the south side of your home to prevent your air conditioning unit from working twice as hard to cool the space.
- Consider fans: They move the air around spaces and that circulation action can make rooms more comfortable — even at higher temperatures. Fans usually allow for a 3 to 5 degree higher temperature setting without sacrificing comfort and each degree saves about 3% on cooling costs. That could mean cutting one of your biggest energy inputs by 15% and saving hundreds of dollars every year.
- Clean Your Refrigerator: By cleaning the coils on the back of your fridge you’ll help one of the biggest energy hogging appliances run more efficiently.
What other ideas can you think of to help save energy around your home? Share your ideas with us on our Facebook page and we’ll share with other Virginians so we can all work to meet the state’s goal to reduce electricity consumption by 10%.
Q&A with Virginia Energy Sense Resolutions Sweepstakes Winner
The first three months of 2012 flew by, but Virginia Energy Sense is hoping those energy efficiency resolutions haven’t flown out the door! To keep your energy efficiency goals on track and give you some fresh ideas just in time for spring, Virginia Energy Sense caught up with Pamela Covington, our second Resolutions Sweepstakes winner, to get her thoughts on how other Virginians can ‘Value Your Power.’ Read on to see what Pamela had to say about energy efficiency:
VES: One appliance/tech gadget you can’t live without?
PC: The one thing I can’t live without is my computer. I practically do
everything on it now from Facebook, Twitter, entering sweepstakes to finding awesome deals to save money on everyday items.
VES: Favorite tip for saving energy around the house?
PC: Simply turn off the lights, TV, computer and game consoles when you are not using them.
VES: Finish this sentence: One way I think Virginia can help achieve its 10% goal to reduce electricity consumption is:
PC: Virginia can help reduce electricity consumption by educating the public through as many means as possible; using the week around Earth Day for businesses to offer coupons and “try me” periods for energy efficient products; and offering incentives to businesses to help promote sales of more energy efficient products to consumers.
VES: What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to saving energy?
PC: Affordability. I know it makes sense in the long-term; however, when you are trying to really stretch your finances to cover everything, it really makes the difference.
Check back with us, weekly, to learn more energy efficiency tips and ways to save on your utility bills. In the meantime, visit our Facebook page and tell us what you’re doing to ‘Value Your Power’ and save energy throughout 2012.
How to: Reduce Energy Costs with Window Dressings
Curtains, shutters, shades and blinds—did you know these window coverings could actually save you money? Believe it or not, both indoor and outdoor window coverings are great ways to reduce heating and cooling costs year-round.
Here are a few examples to help you save energy by using window coverings:
- Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65% on south-facing windows and up to 77% on west-facing windows.
- Window blinds—vertical or horizontal slat-type—are more effective at reducing summer heat gain than winter heat loss.
- Draperies should be hung as close to the windows as possible and should fall to the floor or windowsill to reduce heat exchange or convection.
- Installing an insulating window panel or pop-in shutter is a fairly simple DIY project that doesn’t require any hardware. Panels are made so that the edges seal tightly against the window frame. Seals can be made from magnetic tape or Velcro.
- Mesh window screens can diffuse solar radiation, reducing heat gain in the summer. Effective on east- and west-facing windows, the screens are mounted in an exterior frame and cover the entire window.
- Properly designed exterior shutters may provide the best possible window insulation system in addition to several other advantages:
o Weather protection
o Added security
o Doesn’t require interior space
o No thermal shock to windows if left closed.
For more information on how you can save energy around your home, visit the Virginia Energy Sense website’s ‘At Home’ section.
Alexandria Company Helps Nearby Community Save Energy
Not only do Virginians take their power seriously but they are also showing nearby residents how they can value their power. Alexandria-based Continuum Energy Solutions is working with a Silver Spring, Maryland townhome community to weatherize seven homes. From upgrading insulation to filling cracks in walls and ceilings, the community is eager to save energy as the weather turns cooler.
Since improvements were completed for a number of community residents at the same time, Continuum offered a 15% discount towards the costs of the community’s energy upgrades, which will ultimately deliver longer term savings on each home’s monthly utility bills.
To learn how you can take similar steps to weatherize your home and make other energy efficient upgrades that can save you money on your power bills, visit the At Home section of the Virginia Energy Sense website.
Read the full article from Gazette.net.
How a Large V.A. Manufacturer Slashed Energy Costs—Keeping Jobs and Operations in the U.S.
The Volvo Trucks New River Valley (NRV) plant, located in Dublin, Virginia, is the company’s largest truck manufacturing facility in the world. They’re also the largest employer in southwest Virginia, with about 2,200 employees. In December 2009, they joined the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Save Energy Now LEADER initiative, which called on manufacturers to take a pledge to reduce their facilities’ energy intensity by 25% over 10 years. Since becoming a LEADER company, Volvo’s plant in Dublin has tapped into DOE’s resources and has reduced their energy intensity by almost 30% in only one year.
How did they do it?
By addressing common sense issues pertaining to energy efficiency the Volvo plant was able to cut costs. To start, the plant established an energy committee tasked with identifying and implementing energy efficiency projects. They also kicked-off a contest to engage employees in identifying ways the plant could be more efficient. Employee-suggested projects ended up saving the plant 546,543 kilowatt hours per month from 2009-2010, resulting in approximately $33,000 per month in cost savings.
Overall, the Volvo plant has saved about $2 million, with an initial investment of $850,000. Volvo’s energy committee continues to identify ways for the plant to be more energy efficient, and the company expects another 10%-20% reduction in energy intensity this year. The investments Volvo has made in energy efficiency has helped the manurfacturer cut costs, maintain jobs, and keep it operations in the U.S.
For more info and original posting go to Energy.gov Energy Blog.