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From the June/July 2009 Issue:

Save at Home

  • Writer: Lisa Rackley

Unlocking New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program™. In her regularly featured column, Lisa Rackley outlines New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program and what it means to you as a homeowner.

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program promotes increased energy efficiency and the use of clean, renewable sources of energy, including solar, wind, geothermal, and sustainable biomass. NJCEP programs promote some key strategies outlined by Governor Corzine’s administration. They are designed to yield $30 billion in energy savings between 2010 and 2020, says Jeanne Fox, president of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the agency that oversees NJCEP.

Here are the details.

1. Cool Advantage & Warm Advantage Rebates of up to $400 are available for energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment such as central air conditioning, heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, and water heaters. Criteria and refund amounts were updated April 1. (Before purchase or installation, visit www.njcleanenergy.com to check which models and criteria qualify.)

2. Home Energy Analysis This tool on the NJCEP website educates you about home energy use and what steps you can take to save. Enter the model numbers and age of your appliances and HVAC systems into an energy calculator to learn whether they should be replaced.

3. Energy Star® qualified Products Earn rebates for purchasing the following Energy Star products (you must meet specific criteria):

• $75 for clothes washers with a modified energy factor (MEF) of 2.2 or higher. MEF measures how many cubic feet of laundry can be washed and dried with one kilowatt of electricity; the higher the number, the greater the efficiency. For a list of Energy Star-rated washers, visit www.energystar.gov.

• $25 for dehumidifiers.

• $20 for select room air conditioners.

• Discounts on compact fluorescent light bulbs.

4. New Jersey Energy Star Homes Rebates are available for construction of energy-efficient homes in Smart Growth areas. These homes are 15-35 percent more energy-efficient than standard homes. Before you break ground, ask whether your builder participates in the program. If you are a builder interested in participating, call 866-NJSMART for details. The website also has an interactive tool that highlights energy-efficiency applications in the home and explains their benefits. Another component—New Jersey Climate Choice homes—incorporates energy-efficient construction and solar energy applications.

5. Home Performance Program with Energy Star program Contractors certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) Home Performance Program will assess your home and explain how to reduce your energy costs and carbon footprint. BPI is the industry’s resource for building-science technology and sets standards for energy performance. The assessment costs $125; some financial incentives are available to help pay for recommended improvements. You also may be eligible for $1,000 worth of free air sealing. (Check with an NJCEP representative for eligibility requirements.)

6. New Jersey Comfort Partners This program improves energy affordability for income-eligible households. If you meet qualifications, a contractor will assess potential energy savings and install measures at no cost. The program also provides personalized energy education and counseling. - DNJ