What Energize CT rebates, loans & incentives can I use in 2021?

Updated

solar rebates loans incentives

 

Electricity in Connecticut isn’t cheap. In fact, the Constitution State ranks 3rd for both highest electricity rates and average household electricity expenditure, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

Luckily for residents of Connecticut, there are a number of rebates, services, and incentives available to help them tackle high energy costs. The main initiative to support these efforts is the Energize Connecticut program, a state-backed energy conservation program. 

So what exactly is Energize CT, and how does it help residents looking for energy savings?

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    What is Energize CT?

    Energize CT is a 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 electric utility customers can improve their energy efficiency and reduce consumption. 

    Energize CT’s goals include saving residents and businesses money, boosting the local economy, contributing to environmental protection, tackling climate change, and improving Connecticut’s energy security.

    Energize CT is a joint initiative of the following:

    • The state of Connecticut
    • The Energy Efficiency Fund
    • 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 2021?

    There are many CT energy rebates you can use to save money and the beauty of these programs is that they help you to save money twice

    The first is the rebate or instant discount offered for the purchase of approved electrical products. The second is the ongoing savings over the life of the new energy-efficient product, as it reduces your overall energy usage, which in turn, reduces your monthly power bill.

    Here are the most popular rebates 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 authorized distributors. Just check the product for the Energize CT label.

    2. Rebates for heat pumps

    Heating is the single-largest energy expense for the average U.S. household, making up 43% of energy bills. Installing ductless or ducted air-source heat pumps reduces energy use by 25% to 50%, compared to a traditional HVAC system. 

    Energize CT offers instant rebates of up to $1,000 on eligible models to make these units available to more Connecticut property owners.

    3. Rebates for heating and and air conditioning systems 

    For those who prefer central air units, rebates are available for Energy Star-certified high-efficiency heating and cooling systems. 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 rebates worth up to $1,500. Do note that these require a pre-application through your utility company. 

    4. Rebates for heat pump 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 $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.

    Learn more: See the full list of Energize CT rebates and incentives on the official energizect.com website, or by calling the statewide toll-free number 1-877-WISE USE. 

    What Energize CT loans are offered in 2021?

    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 loan details here.

    2. Smart E-Loan program for home improvement projects

    Smart E-loans are financing options offered by Connecticut Green Bank, in partnership with Energize CT, and they apply to 40 different home improvement projects. The main categories they cover are home performance/efficiency, heating and cooling, water heating, and renewables - which includes solar panel systems.

    As of April 2021, Smart E-loans are being offered - for an unspecified limited time - at the financing rate of as low as 1.99% - this is a good deal. 

    The interest rate normally varies between 4.49-6.99%, which is nowhere near as good as the concessionary rates available in the limited-time or the heating loan program. 

    If you can only access the higher rate, 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.

    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 electric bills.

    Learn more: The official Energize CT page for Energy Assessments, Audits and Checkups

    What is the Energize CT solar incentive program?

    To promote the adoption of renewable energy, Energize CT offers two different types of solar incentives through the Connecticut Green Bank. 

    Both incentives are tiered, with maximum benefits for systems up to 10 kW - enough for the vast majority of homes - and with a lower incentive for systems up to 20 kW. 

    1. For solar system purchases: Expected Performance Based-Buydown (EPBB)

    This incentive is calculated based on your previous utility consumption and the proposed solar panel system’s “design factor.” 

    The incentive is worth up to $0.426/watt. Given that the average cost of solar panels in Connecticut in 2021 is $2.86, the incentive can save you as much as 15% off the purchase price. Do note however, that the incentive is paid directly to the contractor to reduce the upfront cost. 

    Homeowners using solar loans to make their system purchases can also benefit from this incentive; a local solar company rep can explain how that works

    2. For solar leasing: Performance-Based Incentive (PBI)

    Consumers who are interested in a system lease instead of a purchase can benefit from this incentive. 

    The PBI is paid directly to the system owner (i.e. the solar company). The incentive covers up to  $0.30/kilowatt hour for solar electricity generation that covers your previous utility electricity consumption. The incentive allows the solar company to offer the lease to you at a much lower cost.

    Learn more

    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 about 5.5-6.5 years for the typical residential solar installation in Connecticut to pay itself off. 

    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. 

    You can get an accurate idea of the payback period for a solar panel system for your home, as well as the cost and savings involved, by entering your address into the solar calculator below.

    Estimate how much you can save by going solar in Connecticut

    How do I find the best solar company in Connecticut?

    Homeowners can use our site, SolarReviews, to find the best solar energy company in Connecticut. 

    Your local solar contractor can also help you find the best ways to apply for Energize CT rebates, as well as assist you with the rebate application (including rebate forms and other required documentation).

    Key takeaways

    • Energize CT is a state-backed initiative to help Connecticut residents make smart energy choices and reduce their energy consumption.
    • Energize CT rebates can reduce the prices of energy-hungry appliances such as heat pumps, HVACs, and water heaters.
    • There are low-interest loans for a range of energy-related home improvement projects, and an ultra-low rate loan for eligible heating equipment.
    • The home energy assessment is a subsidized service that will show you how to make your home more energy efficient.
    • The residential solar incentive program reduces the cost of solar panel system purchases and solar leases.
    • You can find detailed information about the Energize CT rebates and services on www.energizect.com
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Zeeshan Hyder

    SolarReviews Blog Author

    Zeeshan is passionate about promoting renewable energy and tackling climate change. He developed these interests while studying at beautiful Middlebury College, Vermont, which has a strong focus on sustainability. He has previously worked in the humanitarian sector — for Doctors Without Borders — and in communications and journalism.

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