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GEO to launch rebate program April 19

Coloradans can soon tap into millions of Recovery Act dollars and take steps to save money, boost the economy and save energy as the Governor’s Energy Office and partners prepare to launch a sweeping, statewide rebate program April 19.

This initiative is designed to bring energy efficiency and renewable energy to tens of thousands of Coloradans and will provide nearly 75,000 rebates worth approximately $22 million.

Coloradans will be able to connect easily with opportunities to save dollars and do some good for the economy and the environment by visiting the Recharge Colorado Web site (also launching April 19) to sign up for rebates on a wide array of appliances, services and equipment that will save energy, reduce energy bills and create jobs for Colorado. The Web site and rebate program will offer Colorado consumers a service unprecedented in scope — providing comprehensive and localized information about rebates, financial incentives, contractors, energy conservation tips and availability of goods and services across the state.

Items eligible for rebates will include:

• Equipment such as dishwashers, clothes washers, refrigerators, as well as furnaces and hot water heaters.

• Residential energy efficiency measures such as insulation and air sealing, duct sealing, whole-house energy audits and whole-house energy monitors.

• Renewable energy projects, including solar photovoltaic systems, solar hot water systems for homes and businesses and small wind installations.

A complete list is included at the end of this announcement. About one-third of the rebates will be provided for ENERGY STAR appliances, furnaces and hot water heaters. The bulk of the funding for the program is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Local partners across Colorado provided additional dollars.

“Coloradans are unique and our goal was to develop a rebate program and education campaign that would match the ‘do it yourself’ ethic that is a hallmark of this great state,” said GEO director Tom Plant. “We look forward to providing Coloradans this opportunity to save money, save energy and participate in our New Energy Economy. We invite consumers to discover the wealth of energy-saving information available to them through this one-stop clearinghouse at our soon-to-be-launched Recharge Colorado web site. Connecting people to this information will, in turn, mean more jobs and business for the companies that provide these valuable services.”

Critical consumer information

The GEO expects high consumer interest in all rebates. For ENERGY STAR appliance rebates, the GEO along with its local partners expects brisk consumer action. Those appliances account for about 16,000 of the rebates. In light of that, it’s important for consumers to have realistic expectations and to recognize the limits of the program.

Rebates on kitchen appliances range from $50 to $100, while those for hot water heaters and furnaces range from $200 to $500. These rebates will be reserved online on a first-come, first-served basis. The GEO rebates will not be retroactive. This means that products purchased and installed before the GEO launches the program will be ineligible for rebates.

Consumers are reminded that no rebates are guaranteed until all documentation is provided to the GEO. Consumers that are interested in energy efficiency appliances should consider the savings that are immediately available to them through retailer, utility or manufacturer incentives. Many retailers may currently offer sales that exceed what will be available in the rebate program.

Rebates for renewable energy measures, such as solar hot water or solar electric systems, will require a home energy audit before applying. Walkthrough audits that have been conducted after Dec. 31 2006, but before program launch can be accepted. After April 19, however, the audit must be performed by a Building Performance Institute (BPI) or Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) certified auditor. Rebates are available for home energy audits performed after April 19.

Beginning April 19, consumers will be directed to the Recharge Colorado Web site to apply for and reserve rebates. The rebate check will be issued to the homeowner, for both energy efficiency and renewable energy applications. More detailed information on the rebate application process and rebate criteria will be provided on the GEO Web site by March 31.

Home appliance rebates

All appliances must be ENERGY STAR rated.

Additional requirements exist above just ENERGY STAR labeling in some cases

Not all products and services will qualify for a rebate. The GEO strongly encourages consumers to review the rebate materials carefully when considering purchases.

For an appliance that is deemed eligible, the following rebate level will be paid:

• Clothes washers, $75.

• Dishwashers, $50.

• Refrigerators, $100 with proof the previous refrigerator was recycled. Proof consists of a receipt from a recycling facility or a receipt from a retailer engaged in an existing recycling agreement with the GEO. A list of retailers will be available in coming weeks.

• Refrigerators, $50 with no proof of recycling.

• Furnaces-gas condensing, $500.

• Hot water heater-gas condensing/high performance, $200 (minimum efficiency rating available in coming weeks).

• Hot water heater-gas tankless, $300.

• Gas boilers, $400.

Refrigerators must be at least 12 cubic feet in size to qualify.

Furnaces must also be rated at an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) greater or equal to 92 percent

Residential energy efficiency rebates

Insulation and air sealing — 20 percent of cost up to $400 (will not exceed $600 if combined with an existing local utility rebate taken by the consumer).

Duct sealing — 20 percent of cost up to $75 (will not exceed $125 if combined with an existing local utility rebate).

Whole-house energy audit — tiered rebate of $25 to $100 depending on cost of audit.

Whole-house energy monitor — $50 (will not exceed $100 if combined with an existing local utility rebate).

Renewable energy rebates

Note: Rebates are based on system size, calculated per watt. So no hard dollar figure is provided here.

Solar photovoltaic — 20 to 30 percent. In some cases, rebates combined with local incentives will result in a 50-percent reduction in costs.

Solar domestic hot water — 30 percent of the cost.

Solar thermal and/or hot water (commercial only — no pools, spas or snowmelt) — approximately 30 percent of the cost of the system.

Small wind (residential) up to 10 kW — approximately 30 percent of the cost of the system.

Small wind (commercial) — approximately 15 to 20 percent of the cost of the system.