Nailing It Down: Rebates available for natural gas-heated homes

  • Sat Feb 29th, 2020 1:30am
  • Life

Nailing It Down

By Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty

Is your home heated with natural gas? If so, you could be eligible for rebates.

Recently we wrote about various rebates available through the Grays Harbor PUD for energy-saving measures and appliances for homes that are electrically heated. Today, our concentration is on folks who heat their homes with natural gas.

We talked with Kris Forck, energy efficiency and conservation analyst at Cascade Natural Gas, which serves some areas within Grays Harbor County.

New gas furnace

The most popular rebate through the incentive program offered by CNG is the one for a new natural gas furnace.

“If our customer purchases a natural gas furnace with 95% energy efficiency or more, they are eligible for a $400 rebate,” Forck said.

Of course there are several stipulations to receiving the rebate, including that the contractor used is licensed in Washington. The utility’s website (cngc.com/energy-efficiency) has a list of eligible contractors who are licensed, bonded and insured.

In addition, the simple form to fill out for the rebate (which must be accompanied by proof of purchase and installation) is available on the website.

Gas insert rebates

CNG also offers rebates for gas inserts that are installed in fireplaces or stoves, Forck said. For a gas insert with 70% efficiency or better, a $300 rebate is possible.

Again, the forms and details are available on the website.

This is the only home heat rebate that someone whose home is primarily heated by electricity could still qualify for, she noted.

Boilers, water heaters

While not many people have them, condensing boilers are becoming a bit more popular. (They are used for things like radiant heat under floors.) Installing such a boiler can also earn a homeowner a rebate of $750.

In addition, condensing tankless water heaters are also rebate eligible – at two levels. For natural gas tankless water heaters with between 87% and 92% energy efficiency, $250 is offered for a rebate. For those with 93% efficiency or better, a $350 rebate is possible.

Weatherization measures

Just as the PUD encourages energy conservation through weatherization, so does CNG – as well as other gas companies.

“We offer weatherization or shell measures for existing homes including insulation and ductwork,” Forck said.

If a homeowner adds R-49 insulation in the attic or ceiling, they can receive a rebate of up to $1 per square foot of insulation installed.

For the floor or crawlspace, the rebate for insulation that is R-30 is 75 cents a square foot. The same is true of new insulation placed in external walls.

The insulation installation needs to be done by a trade ally contractor. (That’s someone who has chosen to participate with CNG and has been vetted and trained.) The website includes a link to the trade ally directory, Forck said.

A flat rate of $150 is the rebate available for duct sealing. In addition, duct insulation can earn a rebate of 50 cents a linear foot for R-11 insulation.

There is also a whole-home air sealing rebate of $150 available. However that requires a pre- and post-blower test.

Again, it’s best to check online or call CNG to double-check the requirements before purchasing or installing anything.

Windows

For homeowners replacing single-paned windows with double-paned windows with a U factor of 0.27 or less, rebates are available through CNG for $5 per square foot of windows purchased and installed.

New homes

If you are considering buying or building a brand-new home, you could be eligible for a fairly significant rebate.

Any home built after Jan. 1, 2020, that is either Energy Star or Built Green certified can receive a $2,000 rebate. (Energy Star is a federal program through the Environmental Protection Agency, while Built Green is a Washington state program.)

“It is the certificate that guarantees the rebate,” said Forck. “Without it, we can’t confirm the eligibility.”

So, when building a new home, it’s important to work with the contractor to build it to a certain energy-saving level, which is higher than code, she explained.

For instance, such homes would have insulation better than code, heating measures above and beyond, and maybe even a water catchment system or the building site located with certain environmental aspects in mind.

To see what kinds of specific requirements are needed for these certificates – and thus eligible for the rebates – look up the Built Green Washington or Energy Star websites.

For more info

Again, for more information about Cascade Natural Gas rebates, check out the website or call 866-626-4479.

Next week

Next week we are planning to talk with several area real estate agents to get you the latest on what you can expect as a buyer and a seller in our local housing market.

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is executive director. This is a nonprofit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing for all residents of Grays Harbor County. For questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or buying, call 360-533-7828 or visit 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen. Our office is fully ADA-compliant.