Archive for the ‘Utilities’ Category
March 5th, 2012 by admin
Reliability – CFLs suffer from early-life failures up to 13% of the time and often have significant reduction in lumen output before the halfway point in their life. While EnergyStar has only recently begun to do off the shelf testing for CFLs, LEDs have been subject to random EnergyStar testing since their inception to eliminate the reliability problems that have plagued CFLs.
Versatility – LEDs perform in all environments, including those that were particularly problematic for CFLs – cold climates and frequent power cycling.
Recyclability – Since LEDs do not contain hazardous materials they are significantly easier to recycle than CFLs.
February 28th, 2012 by admin
Efficiency – The current generation of LEDs typically produce 60% more lumens per watt than compact fluorescents (CFLs) on the market today and are improving quickly. Expect LEDs to achieve double the efficiency of CFLs in the next couple of years.
Longevity – LEDs last about 50,000 hours, more than 8 times as long as CFLs.
Safety – LEDs are far more break resistant than CFLs and when they do break you don’t have to worry about human or environmental contamination because LEDs do not contain hazardous materials.
January 24th, 2011 by Clay
50%-70% of energy consumed in the average American home is used for heating and cooling. Insulating your home can reduce your heating and cooling load by 20% and increase the comfort of your in both hot and cold weather.
Insulation comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all of it will be rated on its thermal resistance (R-value). The higher the R-value the greater the insulation effectiveness. You can install some forms of insulation yourself while others requires a professional contractor.
Types of Insulation
Blankets (batts or rolls) – Made of mineral fiber this form of insulation can be installed by the homeowner or a professional. Cut the batts down to size to fit them into areas.
Blown-in loose fill – Typically installed by a professional, this form of insulation is ideal for wall cavities and unfinished attic floors.
Spray Foam – In the cavities of a new home a professional can apply cellulose and fiberglass fibers in the form of a foam.
Foam Insulation – Applied by a professional using special equipment to meter, mix, and spray the foam into place. Polyisocyanurate and polyurethane foam insulation is produced in two forms: open-cell and closed-cell. Open-celled foam allows water vapor to move through the material more easily than closed-cell foam, but usually has a lower R-value for a given thickness compared to closed-cell foams. So, some closed-cell foams are able to provide a greater R-value where space is limited.
Rigid Insulation – Made from fibrous materials or plastic foams and produced in board-like forms and molded pipe coverings. These provide full coverage with few heat loss paths and are often able to provide a greater R-value where space is limited. Rigid insulation is often used for foundations and as an insulative wall sheathing.
Penn Power, Penelec, and Met-Ed are all currently offering rebates for insulation.
January 12th, 2011 by Clay
If you’re a PPL customer, don’t miss a great chance to save energy and money by increasing your home’s efficiency at a heavy discount. PPL’s Home Assessment Program will pay up to $250 of your home energy audit cost, depending on the type of heating system you have. The rebates are distributed as follows.
- Homes with electric heat receive $250 rebate
- Homes with gas receive $150 rebate
To find a certified PPL Energy Auditor, fill out the form to the right.
December 16th, 2010 by Clay
FirstEnergy owned utilities Penelec, Met-Ed, and Penn Power offer identical residential energy efficiency programs. The rebate structure puts particular emphasis on subsidizing home energy audits and energy audit related home improvements.
Whole Home Energy Audit: $0.30/kWh savings, up to $900
Central Air Conditioner: $150 – $300
Air-Source Heat Pump: up to $400
Geothermal Heat Pump: up to $217/ton
Central Air Conditioner Tune-Up: up to $40
Clothes Washers $75
Room Air Conditioners: $25
Recycling Refrigerator or Freezer: $50
Recycling Air Conditioner: $25
HVAC: View program web site for requirements
New appliances must be ENERGY STAR certified
Clothes Washers: home must have electric water heater to be eligible for incentive
To recycle refrigerators or A/C, appliance must be 10-30 cubic ft., operational, plugged in and cooling at time of pick up. There is a limit of two refrigerators or freezers and two room size air conditioners per household per calendar year.
December 15th, 2010 by Clay
PPL has the widest offering of energy efficiency and renewable energy incentive programs of all the utilities in Pennsylvania. The PPL incentive smorgasbord is composed of four different programs providing incentives for everything from appliance recycling to geothermal and solar installations.
Appliance Recycling Rebate Program
PPL has partnered with JACO Environmental to offer its customers a recycling option for refrigerator/freezers and window air conditioning units. Households can receive rebates for up to two recycled refrigerator/freezers ($35/unit) and one air conditioning window unit ($25/unit). In order to qualify for the rebate the recycled equipment must be cleaned and in working condition.
Home Assessment Program
The Home Assessment Program provides rebates that offset the cost of a home energy audit. The rebate amount depends on your home’s heat source; electric heat ($250), non-electric heat ($150). In addition to these rebates, PPL also offers customers an option to pay $50 for a walkthrough evaluation where an inspector installs energy saving measures (CFLs, smart power strips, faucet aerators and water heater pipe insulation).
Following the home energy audit you can receive additional rebates by implementing the recommendations provided in the audit report.
Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Similar to efficiency rebate programs offered by other utilities in Pennsylvania, PPL offers rebates for a variety of appliance and HVAC equipment upgrades. The rebates and requirements are as follows:
- Dehumidifier: $10
- Room AC: $25
- Dishwasher: $30
- Refrigerator: $50
- Clothes Washer: $75
- Energy Star Qualified Light Fixture: $10
- Programmable Thermostat: $50
- Central AC: $150-$300 depending on efficiency
- Air-Source Heat Pump: $250-$400 depending on efficiency
- Ground Source Heat Pumps: $217/ton
- Heat Pump Hot Water Heater:$300
- Energy Star Light Fixture: CFL’s do not qualify
- Central AC/Air-Source Heat Pump: SEER 14.5 minimum
- Heat Pump Hot Water Heater: EF 2.0 minimum
Solar and Geothermal Rebate Program
The funding for the solar portion of this rebate program have been exhausted, but the geothermal incentives are still available. PPL will pay residential customers $217 per ton of geothermal capacity installed up to $1,200 per home.
December 13th, 2010 by Clay
PECO offers two rebate programs to customers in Pennsylvania, one for both gas and electric customers and one that is only eligible to customers who purchase gas from PECO. The Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program is available to both gas and electric customers and provides a rebate for customers who purchase Energy Star rated appliances and HVAC equipment. The rebate amounts are listed next to the eligible items below.
Equipment List and Rebate Amount
Central AC: $150-$300
Air-Source Heat Pump: $250-$400
Geothermal Heat Pump: $217/ton
Heat Pump Water Heater: $300
High Efficiency Furnaces: $550 – $1000
High Efficiency Boiler: $300
Clothes Washer: $100
Dehumidifier : $10
Electric Water Heater: $25
Room Air Conditioner: $50
LED Light Bulbs: up to $15 at time of purchase
Light Fixture: up to $10 at time of purchase
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $35
White Roof Coating: $0.17/sq. ft.
Whole House Fan: $90
ENERGY STAR appliances: refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers, dishwashers, dehumidifiers, and room air conditioners
Central A/C and air-source heat pumps: minimum 14.5 – 16 SEER
Geothermal Heat Pump: minimum coefficient of performance of 3.3
Heater minimum .62 EF
Heat Pump Water heater minimum 2.0 EF
Electric water heater: minimum .95 EF
Natural Gas Boiler: 85% AFUE
Natural Gas Furnace: 90% AFUE
The PECO Smart Gas Heating Efficiency Rebate Program offers rebates to customers who install an Energy Star qualified, high-efficiency natural gas furnace, boiler, or water heater. The program is available to PECO natural gas customers in the natural gas service area of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.
Equipment List and Rebate Amount
Natural Gas Furnaces/Boilers: $300
Natural Gas Storage Tank Water Heater: $50
Furnaces: Must have a 90% or greater AFUE rating
Boilers: Must have an 85% or greater AFUE rating
Water Heaters: Must have an EF of 0.67 or greater
Although PECO doesn’t offer rebates or incentives to offset the price of a Home Energy Audit, using an audit as a roadmap for your home energy improvements will make sure you get the most out of the incentives that are available.
To find a PECO certified energy auditor, fill out the form to the right.
December 7th, 2010 by Clay
If you’re a customer of a FirstEnergy electricity company (Penelec, Met-Ed, or Penn Power) then you have a great opportunity to upgrade your home efficiency at a heavy discount. FirstEnergy’s Whole House Program will provide up to $1,200 in rebates for home energy audits and efficiency improvements. The rebates are distributed as follows.
- $150 Rebate for a Home Energy Audit. The auditor will also install energy saving products at no cost to you.
- $150 for additional testing. After you’ve made your efficiency upgrades based on your audit report your auditor will return to see how much less energy you’re using. The additional testing should be included in most audits.
- Up to $900 for energy savings. FirstEnergy will pay you .30 cents/kwh saved from efficiency improvements. This amount will be based on data from the additional testing portion of the audit.
To find a home energy auditor that is certified to participate in FirstEnegy’s Whole House Program fill out the form to the right.
-PA Energy Org-
November 29th, 2010 by Clay
Trying to beat PECO’s PTC of 9.92 cents per kilowatt but want to go green? BlueStar Energy Solutions and Energy CooperativeAssociation of Pennsylvania may be the choice you’re facing as both suppliers are offering 100% renewable energy for less than PECO’s PTC. BlueStar comes in 5%+ cheaper than PECO’s default rate, while the Energy Cooperative Association of Pennsylvania is about 2.5% cheaper than PECO. A few percentage points may seem like negligible savings, but to be able to go 100% renewable and get a better price than you can get from a non-renewable supplier is quite the deal.
- PA Energy Org -
November 29th, 2010 by Clay
9.92 cents per kilowatt-hour, PECO’s Price to Compare (PTC) come January, is also the price to beat for PA electricity consumers trying to save money by switching to a new energy supplier this winter. Residential consumers who switch suppliers can expect to save between $100 and $180 annually; and with at least eleven suppliers offering rates 10% lower than PECO’s January PTC choosing a new supplier may be more difficult than finding a good deal. Rob Powelson, PUC Commissioner encourages households to evaluate their options even if many of the suppliers are not familiar names,
“Customers should have the peace of mind knowing that these companies are approved to do business here in Pennsylvania by the Public Utility Commission. They have bonding requirements. They have to post certificates of insurance.”
Check out my past post Choosing a New Energy Supplier to brush up on the shopping process.
- PA Energy Org -