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5 Important Steps in Procuring Utility Rebates

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I’m always amazed at how many new clients we bring on-board that are not only unaware of the important steps in procuring utility rebates, but are completely unaware that utility-based rebates are available for their energy efficiency projects. Many times, they have completed projects that include energy conservation measures (ECM’s) in-house or had their local electrician complete an installation without ever being aware that they were eligible for a rebate.

Lack of knowledge about the incentive programs is not the only problem. Many of our clients tell us that they have had difficulties obtaining incentives from various electric and gas utilities due to the complexity of the programs and their guidelines.Take one look at the program guidelines and regulations for many of these incentive programs, and it’s easy to see why a homeowner or business owner who does not manage these rebates regularly might be a bit overwhelmed.

Don’t miss out on getting your fair share. You are paying for your rebate one way or another, so make sure to take advantage of accessing the rebates while funds are still available. Get in touch with a representative at the utility company and follow these 5 important steps in procuring utility rebates.

  1. Start planning early and be aware of what ECM’s are rebate-eligible and which ones are not.
  2. ALWAYS submit documentation prior to starting your project and pay close attention to the details. Dot all i’s and cross all t’s.
  3. Pay attention to the specifics of your approval letter, particularly with regard to monetary limits and time limits.
  4. Submit your “completed project” documentation as soon as your ECM’s are installed.
  5. Be prepared to follow up.

Whether on the east coast or west, north or south, rebates are available in almost every state across the U.S. At last count, there were 47 states with participating utilities offering rebates. The States of Mississippi and Louisiana are due to have energy efficiency rebate programs on-board some time in 2014. More information about which states and utilities offer rebates can be found at the DSIRE Web Site.

For some of you that do not have the time or experience to procure your own utility rebate, it might be beneficial to bring in a professional company that has experience with the process. Some companies like Energywise even provide a turnkey service that can lower the cost of your energy efficiency projects by identifying and capturing every possible rebate and incentive available.

If you decide to make a go of it yourself, make sure to contact your utility company sooner rather than later, and follow the 5 important steps in procuring utility rebates. 

Scott Van Kerkhove is the CEO of EnergyWise and writes on issues surrounding energy management, energy efficiency and sustainability.

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