The Alaska state legislature’s plan to give all homeowners an incentive to weatherize their homes is a hit.
In 2008, the legislature relaunched the once-dormant Home Energy Rebate Program, which reimburses homeowners up to $10,000 for every dollar spent making energy efficient upgrades.
State-owned Alaska Housing Finance Corporation manages the rebate program.
“It hasn’t been funded for years so it’s great to resurrect it,” says Sherrie Simmonds, AHFC’s communications officer.
Residents sign up online or to a call center. When their name comes to the top of the list, an energy rater calls and has the rating done on the home. Participants have 18 months to make these improvements. After the upgrades are complete, a final audit measures how much more energy-efficient the home is and determines the amount for reimbursement.
So far, more than 7,500 residents have completed the process with 16,100 applications pending. The average rebate is $6,235.
“Lots of people are surprised at how much they’re saving and how much more comfortable they are,” Sherrie says.
Jordan Marshall decided his 56-year-old home was the perfect candidate for the program.
“Alaska saw fit to create a program for individuals who followed the easy steps and were able to be paid back — I couldn’t pass that up,” he says.
Several energy upgrades were made, including caulking to prevent heat from escaping, more insulation and the purchase of a more-efficient water heater.
Now Jordan’s family can enjoy a warmer house for a lower cost.
“We have more consistent heat in the house and we pay less for it," he says.
Editorial note: As of late July 2010, more than 7,500 Alaskan residents have completed the process with 16,100 applications pending. The average rebate is $6,235.