July 9, 2021
Yearning for lower AC bills is just a part of living in California. Have you ever looked into what it would cost to upgrade the efficiency of your cooling system, only to be discouraged by sticker shock and lack of financial feasibility? Fortunately, there are a few programs and rebates for air conditioning and heat pump systems and overall efficiency upgrades that can make increasing your comfort and efficiency much more affordable. Let’s take a look at the available rebates and incentives, and how each home upgrade can keep your home cool and your bills low.
Home Cooling Rebates in California
Spending less on your cooling bills is of course great for your pocketbook—but it's great for the state of California as well. The less energy homeowners use during peak afternoon heat, especially during wildfire season, the less strain on the grid, and the lower the chance of a blackout or brownout. These programs are aimed at helping you reduce your energy needs and costs, without sacrificing your home comfort.
The BayREN Home+ Rebate Program
It is tough to think about making some of the lesser-known home efficiency upgrades when a bigger ticket item goes out, like your air conditioner. Most homeowners are just looking to find the fastest and most affordable solution that gets their home back to “cool”.
However, by addressing your home cooling system at the whole-home level, you can achieve impressive efficiency, and through the BayREN Home+ Rebate program, you can qualify for up to $5,000 in rebates. Currently, upgrading an old air conditioning unit to a 17 SEER or greater efficiency unit has a rebate of $800, and if you switch that old AC unit to a 17 SEER or greater heat pump outdoor unit, the rebate is $1,000. If your home does not have existing ductwork and has a wall heater for it’s primary source of heating, you can get a $1,000 rebate for switching that system to a ductless heat pump mini split unit. As long as you are a PG&E gas or electricity customer, and you own or rent a detached home, or live in a 2-4 unit building built in 2001 or earlier, Hassler can perform an assessment of your home and provide you with a proposal of recommended upgrades, including:
Duct leaks and poor design or installation account for a large portion of energy loss when it comes to air conditioning. Sealing or replacing your ducts will protect the air flowing through your vents.
Air sealing and/or attic & wall insulation
Air sealing is the process of making your home as airtight as possible, and upgrading your insulation stops heat from infiltrating your home through the summer. Both of these upgrades will keep more cool air inside your home, requiring less of your AC unit.
HVAC equipment efficiency upgrades, including mini split installation
Once we have reduced the amount of energy lost after cool air leaves your air conditioner, it's time to turn attention to how efficiently that cool air is being created. Heat pumps and ductless mini splits are versatile, efficient replacements for an air conditioner that qualify for big savings thanks to the Home+ Rebate program.
While rebates are a huge help, there are some upgrades that will fall outside of the available programs. For most of the remaining costs related to your home efficiency upgrade, Californians can utilize Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing.
These financing programs feature low fixed-interest rates, and the balance is paid back as a line item on your property taxes, allowing you to make the upgrades you need now, while paying for it over time. What's more is that these loans can be transferred to the new owner of your home should you decide to sell down the road.
Hassler is Here to Help Keep You Cool
If the high cost of air conditioning upgrades have you feeling hot headed, Hassler is here to keep you cool. Schedule an appointment to learn more about the affordable options available for keeping your home comfortable this summer, while keeping your AC related costs as low as possible.