What Energize CT rebates, loans & incentives can I use in 2020?
Electricity in Connecticut isn’t cheap. The Constitution State ranks 3rd for both highest electricity rates and average household electricity expenditure, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).
Luckily for Connecticuters, there are a number of services and incentives available to help them tackle energy costs. The main initiative to support these efforts is Energize Connecticut, a state-backed energy conservation program. So what exactly is Energize CT, and how does it help residents looking for energy savings?
What is Energize CT?
Energize CT is state-backed initiative designed to help Connecticut residents make intelligent energy decisions. It offers technical assessments and support, as well as special rebates and financing, so utility customers can improve their energy efficiency and reduce consumption. Energize CT has the following goals: save residents and businesses money, boost the local economy, protect the environment, tackle climate change and improve Connecticut’s energy security.
Energize CT is a joint initiative of the following:
- The State of Connecticut
- The Connecticut Green Bank
- Electricity providers Eversource and United Illuminating (UI)
- Gas providers UI, SCG, and CNG
[Is United Illuminating your electricity provider? Learn about going solar with UI.]
What Energize CT rebates are available in 2020?
If you know where to look, there are many CT energy rebates you can use to save money. The beauty of these programs is that they help you to save money twice. The first is the rebate or discount offered for the purchase of approved electrical product. The second is the ongoing savings over the life of the new energy efficient product as it reduces your monthly power bill.
Here are the most popular rebate programs offered by Energize CT:
1. Discounts on energy-efficient lighting
Switching to energy-efficient appliances and lighting has a big impact on your monthly utility bills. The average homeowner can save $75 every year by changing their five most frequently used light bulbs, lamps, and fixtures to Energy Star models.
This is an easy rebate to take advantage of as certified lighting products are already discounted at stores. Just check the product for the Energize CT label.
2. Rebates for ductless split heat pumps
Heating is the single largest energy expense for the average US household, making up 45% of energy bills (energy.gov). Installing ductless split heat pumps reduces energy use by 25% to 50%.
Energize CT offers instant rebates of up to $500 on eligible models to make these units available to more Connecticut property owners.
3. Rebates for heating and cooling appliances
For those who prefer central air units, rebates are available for Energy Star-certified high-efficiency heating and cooling appliances. You can get between $200–$500 back.
Alternatively, if your home or business uses geothermal energy sources for heat supply, you can reduce the cost of upgrades with these rebates. Do note that these require a pre-application through your utility.
4. Rebates for water heaters
Need a new water heater? Energy Star-certified heat pumps heat your water faster with less demand for energy resources. You can get a big $750 discount through Energize CT on your new unit. For bigger buildings, high-efficiency furnaces and boilers that use natural gas, oil, or propane qualify for rebates as well.
See the full list of Energize CT rebates and incentives here.
What Energize CT loans are offered in 2020?
1. Heating loan program
The Energize CT Heating Loan Program provides loans to Connecticut residents who want to buy and install eligible heating equipment in their homes.
The loans are offered on very easy terms, with an interest rate of just 0.99%. The loans are offered through their partner company Capital for Change. You can see the full loans details here.
2. Smart E-Loan program for home improvement projects
Smart E-loans are financing offered by Connecticut Green Bank in partnership with Energize CT. It applies to 40 different home improvement projects. The main categories it covers are home performance/efficiency, heating and cooling, water heating, and renewables - which includes solar panel systems.
The repayment period is between 5-12 years, and the interest rate varies between 4.49-6.99%. This is nowhere near as good as the concessionary rates offered in the heating loan program. It’d definitely be worth your while to compare it against other options such as HELOCs and other solar loans. Alternatively, a good solar contractor will help connect you to the best financing options.
3. Energize CT solar lease
This is not offered anymore. This Energize CT solar lease program ceased functioning back in July 2015.
What are Energize CT home energy assessments?
Energy assessments are at the core of Energize CT’s programs. Energy experts investigate your property and recommend energy efficiency improvements. During a home energy assessment, Connecticut residents receive:
- A thorough evaluation of your property’s current energy performance.
- Basic weatherization services to seal cracks and holes that steal your energy efficiency.
- Installation of energy-efficient accessories for lighting and plumbing.
- Written recommendations for more in-depth home energy solutions.
Information on applicable rebates and discounts are included in your list of written recommendations. Connecticut residents pay $149 for structures that use natural gas or electricity. Homes that rely on propane, oil, or other fuels pay a $174 fee. However, the services included in the assessment are valued at nearly $1,000 for the average resident. In addition, homeowners typically end up with an annual savings of $200–$250 each year on their utility bills.
Can I save money with solar power in Connecticut?
Absolutely. Solar power in Connecticut is very attractive because of high electricity costs and the availability of excellent incentives such as net metering. Currently, it takes an average of 7 years for the typical residential solar installation in Connecticut to pay itself off. How is this calculated? Your solar payback period is the amount of time it takes for the savings from your residential solar installation to equal your out-of-pocket costs for installation.
The programs offered through Energize CT can reduce that time further by improving your home’s energy efficiency, allowing you to send more of your solar power to the grid. Use this handy online solar calculator to get an accurate idea of how long it would take to pay off your residential solar energy system, as well as the cost and savings involved.
How do I find the best solar company in Connecticut?
SolarReviews offers an online tool to aid homeowners in their search for the best solar energy company in Connecticut. Get information, reviews, and no-obligation quotes right from your computer. Your local solar contractor can also help you find the best ways to apply the programs offered through Energize CT.
Author: Andrew Sendy | Home Solar Journalist
Andy is deeply concerned about climate change but is also concerned about cost of living pressures on American families. He advocates for solar energy and solar battery storage only to the extent that they make financial sense for homeowners. He is not affiliated with any particular solar company in the United States.