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News May 29, 2013 - 1:20:46 PM

‘Energize’ Your Central Air System with Upgrades

By Energize Connecticut

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Did you know that heating and cooling costs the average homeowner about $1,000 a year? It’s also nearly half of the home’s total energy bill. Therefore, since Connecticut weather can change at a moment’s notice, now is the time to make sure your home’s air conditioning system is efficient, up-to-date and ENERGY STAR®-certified.

As part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and its utility partners, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and The United Illuminating Company (UI), are now offering rebates and financing options to residential customers who upgrade central air conditioning systems with high efficiency systems that meet ENERGY STAR standards.

“Spring is the best time for homeowners to think about their air conditioning units, and now, there are more energy-efficient models on the market than ever. That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on where to begin in order to achieve the greatest savings and efficiency,” said Jamie Howland of ENE (Environment Northeast) and First Vice Chairperson, Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board. “The first step is to consider your home’s current cooling equipment. If you find that your energy bill is taking a large hit from potentially outdated equipment, then you should think about upgrading to a central air conditioning system that is ENERGY STAR-certified with proper installation.”

Here is a checklist that will help you to figure out if it’s time to upgrade or replace your system:

· Your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old

· Your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old

· Your equipment needs frequent repairs and your energy bills are going up

· Some rooms in your home are too hot or too cold

· Your heating or cooling system is noisy

· No one is home for long periods of the day and you do not have a programmable thermostat.

Howland added that ENERGY STAR central air conditioning systems are quieter, require less maintenance and provide greater comfort throughout your home. “This does not have to be a costly decision, however, because there are rebates and financing available through the Energy Efficiency Fund to help customers purchase ENERGY STAR central air conditioning systems.”

All residential CL&P and UI customers are eligible to receive a $250 incentive on system upgrades that meet the ENERGY STAR-qualified minimum efficiency requirement of 14.5 SEER / 12 EER. Customers who participate in the Home Energy Solutions (HES) program that upgrade existing systems within 120 days of the assessment can receive a second $250 rebate, to receive a combined total of $500 in savings.

Howland further explained that the rebates don’t stop there. Those customers who participate in HES and upgrade to the required ENERGY STAR central air system could get another $500 incentive for participating in the Quality Installation Verification (QIV) program, earning a total of $1,000 in rebates. The QIV program includes proper sizing and airflow bringing fewer repairs, longer equipment life expectancy as well as lower energy bills with increased comfort.

“In addition to these three rebate opportunities, CL&P and UI customers that participate in the HES program also have access to a low interest financing program that is a very cost-effective option for people on a budget,” Howland commented.

For more information on residential energy efficiency programs and HVAC rebates, please call 1-877-WISE- USE or visit

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