Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Energy Efficient Homes & Appliances

According to the U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Department of Energy recently announced the availability of nearly $300 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for rebate programs and consumer purchases of new ENERGY STAR qualified energy efficient appliances.

The new program underscores the Obama Administration's commitment to make American homes more energy efficient, while helping to support the nation's economic recovery.

"Appliances consume a huge amount of our electricity, so there's enormous potential to both save energy and save families money every month," said US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "These rebates will help families make the transition to more efficient appliances, making purchases that will directly stimulate the economy and create jobs."

The new funding will be awarded to states and territories, through their energy offices, using a formula set forth in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Each state or territory is required to submit a plan that specifies which ENERGY STAR appliance categories will be included in their rebate program, the rebate level for each product type, how the rebates will be processed, and their plan for recycling old appliances. States and territories must first file an initial application expressing their intent to participate by August 15, 2009, followed by a full application by October 15, 2009. Approximately 10-25% of each award will be spent on administrative costs.

ENERGY STAR qualified appliance categories eligible for rebates include: central air conditioners, heat pumps (air source and geothermal), boilers, furnaces (oil and gas), room air conditioners, clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, and water heaters.

The Recovery Act appropriated funds for the program to help achieve the national goals of spurring economic growth, creating jobs, saving energy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. States and territories can use these funds to leverage the utility companies and energy efficiency program sponsors in their area.

If you are building an energy efficient home, work with a green architect who can help you choose energy efficient appliances, building materials, and systems that match your goals - and budget.

For more information on these and other Recovery Act related funding opportunities, visit the U.S. Department of Energy's Recovery and Reinvestment Web site.