Utility rebates can help offset the rising cost of energy

Published February 22, 2022

Most of us are feeling the effects of rising costs and are looking for ways to save money. CUB is here to share strategies to help you manage the energy piece of your household budget.  

Our money and energy saving tip for today: Rebates. If you aren’t familiar with rebates offered by your utility, this is a great time to find out about them. In fact, you fund rebates through your utility bills, so we hope you can benefit from these programs when it’s time for you to replace appliances or make improvements to your home.  

State law requires utilities to use a portion of ratepayer funds to promote energy efficiency programs through the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). A popular way to meet these CIP requirements is to offer rebates on energy efficient appliances, mechanical systems, and building improvements, such as insulation and air sealing. 

CUB’s rebate finder can help you find rebates offered by your utility (follow the link, click on the Energy Efficiency & Conservation section, and then Select Your Utility from the dropdown menu). As you are considering buying something new, check back and see if there are new offerings available or different qualifying characteristics. Offerings can change from time to time. For example, we’re seeing more utilities promote rebates on Air Source Heat Pumps, an energy efficient electric heating and cooling technology that is gaining in popularity across the state. Some utilities will provide rebates for getting regular heating system tune-ups. Rebates are also available to help offset the higher upfront cost of water heaters, light bulbs, and many more efficient products.

Using a rebate to buy energy efficient items is smart for multiple reasons. It helps you save money in the near term by reducing your initial purchasing costs. Additionally, a more energy efficient item or measure is going to save you money in the long term by using less energy. With fluctuating energy costs, reducing overall energy use can help reduce the impact on your monthly budget. When you are replacing appliances, mechanical systems, and sealing up energy loss in your home, you are also making your home more comfortable to live in.  

We recognize that replacing mechanical systems such as water heaters, furnaces, boilers or cooling systems might happen in an emergency situation. Hopefully, this blog puts the rebate idea in your mind, and you can ask about it when you call the plumbing or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company. You don’t want to miss out on these chances to save some money.  

Rebates help individuals save money and help the whole energy system by encouraging less energy use through the purchase of efficient items. A favorite saying in the energy world is “the cheapest and cleanest energy is the energy we don’t use”.

I often help people think through their options as they consider appliance replacements or home improvements. If you’re in this situation, contact me any time: 651-300-4701 ext. 2 or carmenc@cubminnesota.org.

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Author: Carmen Carruthers

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