NEWARK – As temperatures begin to cool, energy-saving programs and incentives from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program TM can help New Jersey residents stay warm and comfortable while reducing their energy costs this winter.
“New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program offers a host of programs and incentives to help New Jersey residents reduce their energy bills this winter,” said BPU President Jeanne M. Fox. “These incentives help make energy efficiency improvements more affordable for New Jersey homeowners and, at the same time, help the state reduce the growth in New Jersey’s energy use….”
Clean Energy Programs that help use less energy and lower utility costs this winter include:
Energy Star Products
• Replace old clothes washers and get cash back. Receive a $75 rebate on eligible ENERGY STAR® qualified clothes washers. ENERGY STAR qualified clothes washers cut energy and water consumption by over 40 percent. With any clothes washer, it is best to run the clothes washer with a full load and use the cold-water setting.
• Additional Rebate Programs Debut in January. Under the American Recovery and Investment Act, New Jersey is expanding its Energy Star rebate program to include additional products. New Jersey’s proposed expansion is presently awaiting approval by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycle Program
• Recycle your old or extra refrigerators and freezers. Customers of Atlantic City Electric, Jersey Central Power & Light, PSE&G, or Rockland Electric Company can get $30 cash back for recycling old, working refrigerators and freezers. Recycling an old refrigerator or freezer is easy and hassle-free and will save up to $150 per year on energy costs. In the market for a new refrigerator or freezer? The ENERGY STAR label can guide residents to reliable, energy efficient models.
Home Performance with Energy Star
• Maximize your home’s energy efficiency. Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® can help reduce energy use and costs by up to 30 percent while increasing the comfort, safety, and durability of a home. Contractors certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) assess homes from top to bottom, identifying areas where homeowners can save energy and money.
New eligibility requirements this year allow new customers to pay as little as $125 for a whole-house energy assessment, which is reimbursable if a minimum of $2,000 worth of energy saving enhancements are completed within three months of the assessment date. Customers may also receive up to $1,000 in free air sealing, if needed, as long as no health and safety issues are found during the assessment.
Up to $10,000 cash back and zero-interest loans are available to customers who qualify and choose to install additional air sealing measures and eligible improvements, such as insulation, high efficiency heating and cooling equipment, and ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and lighting. BPI-certified contractors must complete the work. Income-qualified customers may be eligible for increased incentives, but restrictions apply.
Warm Advantage Program
• Upgrade your heating system. Heating and cooling accounts for about half of a home’s energy use, so upgrading these systems can have a big impact on utility bills. You can get a rebate of up to $400 through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program on qualified heating equipment through WARMAdvantage. New Jersey Natural Gas, South Jersey Gas, and Elizabethtown Gas customers can get an additional $900 rebate through the WARMAdvantage program.
Comfort Partners Program
• Get a whole-house solution. Income-eligible families qualify for the free installation of energy efficient measures through the State’s Comfort Partners program. Receive a personalized plan to reduce energy bills by 15 to 35 percent through upgrades such as efficient lighting, hot water heating, thermostats, insulation, duct sealing, air sealing or heating and cooling equipment. The Comfort Partners Program increased eligibility requirements in 2009, adding families with an income at or below 225% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Additional Energy Saving Strategies
• Switch to energy efficient lighting. ENERGY STAR qualified lighting uses 75 percent less energy and lasts up to 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb. One ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) can save $30 in energy costs and reduces carbon dioxide emissions by almost 700 pounds over its lifetime.
• Use a programmable thermostat. An ENERGY STAR qualified, programmable thermostat regulates heating and cooling systems. Residents set programmable thermostats to automatically reduce the temperature during the times they are at work and bring it back to the preferred level about half an hour before their scheduled return. That way, residents don’t pay as much to heat an empty home. Moderately priced models that are easy to use are available.
For more information about incentives and programs offered through New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, visit NJCleanEnergy.com or call 866-NJSMART (866-657-6278).
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