There are several ways to save energy in your home. From appliances to windows, doors, furnaces, water heaters, and light bulbs just to name a few. The state, federal government, and some utility companies encourage us to use lower energy rated appliances and will often times give rebates or tax credits, for purchases of qualifying products.
It is up to the consumer to research which products qualify. In Oregon you can check the Energy Trust Of Oregon site for cash incentives as well as information on how to schedule a free home energy review by a trained and certified contractor.
Another great way to check if an appliance is or will be covered under one of these plans is to go directly to the manufactures web page to see which appliances they have that will qualify for some or all of the many incentives offered. For example if your interested in purchasing a new high efficiency furnace you could go to the Bryant webpage and get information on which units will qualify for tax credits or rebates.
Energy star products can be found at the Energy Star website where you can learn which products qualify, how to apply and what forms you will need to fill out after your purchase and install. Forms are submitted with your taxes for that year for tax write offs and rebates usually have a time limit such as 90 days etc. Check the Forms page of the Energy Star website for more information on how to apply.
If you purchase an appliance, furnace or water heater that uses natural gas you can also check the NW Natural Gas website for incentives that they may offer. The store or contractor may have information on which products qualify as well so check with them when your shopping around.
Appliances that earn an Energy Star rating may cost a bit more upfront, but in an overwhelming majority of cases, their operating costs yield big savings over the lifetimes of the products. And while you can’t bank on the government bringing back the now-expired 2011 tax credits, anything is possible in an election year, especially when energy costs are an important voter issue. Regardless, the facts show that Energy Star is working for the betterment of the environment while simultaneously lowering electric bills. Even in our fractured political climate, that’s a platform everyone can agree upon — and incentive enough for all of us to make some major changes around the house not just in 2014, but also in the years to come as well.