HG: SustainAbility Column January 24, 2009

Xcel Energy expanded its demand side management programs to promote energy efficiency and save you money.

According to a 2008 Xcel mailing, “conservation is two to five times less expensive than meeting your future energy needs in other ways.” Rebates and incentives are cheaper than building new power plants.

Xcel rebates and incentives for energy efficiency used to include only electric customers. Now, some of the money saving deals are available to customers receiving only natural gas from the company.

Here’s a look at Xcel’s new programs for 2009:

uE06E Heating Rebates — Natural gas customers get a rebate ranging from $80 to $120 for purchasing and installing a new qualifying energy-efficient furnace or boiler.

•  Insulation Rebates — Natural gas customers get 20 percent of the total cost, up to $300, for qualifying attic and wall insulation and air sealing and weather stripping. Sorry do-it-yourselfers, to get the rebate a qualified contractor must do the installation for quality-control purposes.

• Water Heater Rebate — Rebates are awarded to natural gas customers for purchasing and installing qualifying, high-efficiency, new natural gas water heaters. Standard models will generate rebates ranging from $40 to $80, while tankless models will bring $100.

• Evaporative Coolers — Electric customers get a rebate of $200 or $500 for purchasing and installing a pre-approved model of swamp cooler. Be sure to check the comprehensive list of approved models before making a purchase, since rebates are only awarded for those models.

Additional programs under consideration are awaiting public utilities commission agreement on implementation and measurement details.

These include a rebate for allowing removal and recycling of functional second refrigerators and a program focused on energy-efficient showerheads. There is also a program in the works to rebate Energy Star purchases made when building or remodeling a home.

New programs are being offered as they gain the commission’s approval, so check xcelenergy.com to find out the latest on rebates and incentives.

— Adele Israel


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