1) energy retrofits upgrades like duct sealing and insulation
2) renewable energy products like solar panels for electricity and hot water
3) switching out old appliances
Each of these rebate programs are separate entities that sometimes get confused since they are always changing. For example, APS solar rebate program has seen better days when solar electricity rebates used to be at $3.00 per watt. Every couple of months for the last 2 years, APS has dropped their solar rebates until they reached the current amount of $1.45 per watt. Now, the best and most affordable way to get solar is through a solar lease program that significantly buys down the costs of solar panels.
APS Home Energy Audit Rebates
Now the "hot" program is APS’s and SRP’s Home Performance With Energy Star. This is a national Energy Star program to make homes more healthy, comfortable and efficient. APS and SRP adopted the program to ensure a whole-home approach to reducing energy bills, while keeping homeowners safe and with better indoor air quality. APS requires a $99 energy audit be performed on a home to diagnose the causes of high energy bills, uncomfortable rooms, or excessive dust. Once the audit is complete, a report will be generated using building modeling software that gives cost savings for each upgrade. The APS rebates will help pay up to $1,000 (or more if you have two or more AC units) off the costs of the energy retrofit. The rebates for the Home Performance With Energy Star program are broken down below.
Duct sealing 75% off up to $250 per unit. For most homeowners, 20% of their heating and cooling bill is wasted from duct leakage.
Air sealing 75% off up to $250. Air sealing work can be complex as your auditor must determine
Insulation 75% off up to $250
Shade screens $1 per sq ft up to $250
APS has a great visual summary of their rebate program here.
APS rebates for pool pumps
$200 for variable speed pool pump. Each pump has to be calibrated to your pool to ensure that it is not over turning your pool. This upgrade will reduce your bills $200 - $350 per year. APS also provides a $75 rebate for pool timers.
APS Rebates for AC units
Air conditioning systems have become more efficient from federal standards and better technologies. Surprisingly, APS does not overlap its duct sealing rebates with its air conditioning rebates. With every unit we install, we include a whole home duct seal to maximize the high efficiency AC unit with a properly sealed duct system, otherwise it’s like using an umbrella with holes in it. APS will help you pay for a higher efficiency AC unit depending on the efficiency ratings. In the AC efficiency world there is a SEER rating, the seasonal energy efficiency ratio, EER rating, the energy efficiency ratio, and HPSF, or heating seasonal performance factor. In Phoenix, the EER is a more important number to pay attention to because of how hot it gets here. The EER ratio gives a better idea of how an AC will perform under very hot conditions (100 degrees) were the SEER rating gives an idea of performance under milder conditions (89 degrees). SRP recognizes and awards a higher rebate with higher EERs in their AC rebate program, but APS does not.
APS also has a quality installation standard similar to the post test done for the home energy audits that has to be met when installing heat pumps and furnaces in the Phoenix area. Only APS qualified AC companies can apply for their rebate for you, but not all of them will perform a duct testing and sealing upgrade. These rebates and companies are separate from the solar rebates and the home energy audit rebates. All the APS approved AC companies are required to do is a sizing calculation called the Manual J calculation. You should ask to see the results from your own home to ensure this was done. The AC rebate program also includes a check of the refrigerant charge to make sure that the unit is properly charged to manufacture specifications and a check of the air flow. Below is a list of the AC rebates available from APS.
SEER 13 with EER 10.8 receives $175 APS rebate
SEER 14 – 16 with EER 10.8 receives $425 APS rebate
SEER 17 with EER of 10.8 receives $525 APS rebate
All units must be installed by and APS approved AC contractor.
All contractors must perform a Manual J calculation to properly size the unit (you should verify this since it is not something a typical contractor will do).
All contractors should properly charge the unit and check airflow.
For more information on APS AC rebates, check out their link here.
APS Solar Rebates
APS solar rebates are divided into solar electricity rebates and solar hot water rebates. Solar electricity for my home was my dream growing up and has proven to be an attractive idea to thousands of homeowners across the Phoenix valley. APS perhaps did not realize how attractive solar electricity would be, since they have lowered their rebate amount dramatically since its inception. As of May 2011, APS solar electricity rebate is at $1.45 per watt. You can view their current budget and remaining monies available at the link below.
APS Solar Hot Water Rebates
After City and County applications have been approved, APS does random inspections of the installation. The solar hot water system must be SRCC rated and have proof onsite. The first 5 feet of your hot and cold water piping should be insulated to at least R-2.6. The panels must be un-shaded during the day for the entire year. The APS solar water heater rebates are currently at $0.50 per kWh of estimated first year savings (based on the OG-300 ratings), up to 505 off the system’s cost. The OG-300 rating system is based on the manufacturer’s rating by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation. Also important to consider for solar hot water systems is the federal tax credit of 30% off the cost and Arizona state tax credit of $1,000, which makes solar hot water much more attractive. Typical solar hot water rating systems are around 2,890 kWh per year. An example rebate table is shown below.
Solar Hot Water Cost $5,400
APS Solar Rebate $1,445
Arizona Tax Credit $1,000
Federal Tax Credit $1,620
Net Cost $1,335
Annual Savings $425
Simple Payback 3 years
APS Appliance and Tree Shading Rebate
APS also provides a $30 rebate to replace your old refrigerator and they will even come and pick it up for free. Also, a understated home comfort and energy saving rebate APS offers is to plant external shading along your home to block direct sunlight. The requirements of this rebate are that you attend a free tree shade workshop and can legally and physically plant shading trees along your home. Visit the link below for more information.