PA Applies for $11 Million in Recovery Funds for HVAC, Water Heater Rebate Program
Energy Efficient Heating, Air Conditioning Equipment Rebates Will Complement Electric Utilities’ Rebate Programs Harrisburg
– Governor Edward G. Rendell announced today that Pennsylvania has applied for $10.9 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to create a rebate program that will make non-electrical heating, air conditioning and water heating equipment more affordable.
The PA Energy Equipment Rebate Program is intended to compliment residential energy conservation programs electric utilities will offer for heating, ventilation and air conditioning appliances that operate on electricity.
"Pennsylvania has many older homes that use a variety of heating and cooling methods,” Governor Rendell said. “Families are looking for ways to cut their utility bills by conserving energy, so there is a significant and growing demand for financial incentives that will help them purchase modern, energy efficient heating, cooling and ventilation equipment.
“This type of program will also help boost our economy by creating jobs and work for local contractors who install the equipment. Further, most of the equipment is manufactured in the United States, with several large manufacturers here in Pennsylvania, so this program will open the door to more demand and new opportunities for several different sectors of our economy.”
The Governor said that he anticipates receiving approval for the program from the U.S. Department of Energy by the end of this year and hopes to have funds available for equipment by March 2010.
The new state rebate program will focus on HVAC and water heating equipment that uses natural gas, propane and oil. Eligible equipment must be new and meet or exceed Energy Star standards. The program could potentially fund 32,000 HVAC installations.
It will complement the energy conservation programs electric utilities and suppliers are required to implement for ratepayers under Act 129 of 2008, such as offering rebates for appliances and electric HVAC equipment.
Together, these two efforts will help ensure all residential consumers in Pennsylvania have access to energy efficient equipment regardless of the type of fuel they use to heat their home.
To learn more about how the federal economic stimulus program will benefit communities across Pennsylvania or to view the submitted application, visit www.recovery.pa.gov.
The key point of this program is that it is geared towards natural gas, propane and oil systems. In the past, PECO gave rebates for items that saved electricity.
While I am not excited about the installation of more fossil fuel burning devices, the fact is, many homes run on these fuels, so this money could help people upgrade their systems. I am however disappointed by the amount of funding. $11 million is a paltry amount when spread over the 32,000 installations that is noted in the release. This is less than $350 per system, which will hardly motivate anybody to upgrade.
Pennsylvania needs to get serious like NJ has and provide zero interest loans and 50% incentives for homeowners to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Until that time, PA will be left behind as more progressive states take the lead on energy efficiency.