Money on the Table: New Stimulus Cash for Propane Projects

With time running out on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, states pony up with additional dollars for rebates.

These may be the last months of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), but additional cash for state rebate programs is bringing new excitement—and customers—to well-informed remodelers and contractors who know how to leverage propane to secure energy efficiency upgrade jobs.

Pennsylvania, through its Home Heating Equipment Rebate Program, has increased rebates on eligible non-electric equipment to $250 to $1,000 (up from previous rebates of $100 to $500). Applicable non-electric Energy Star equipment includes propane water heaters (storage and tankless), furnaces, and boilers that are purchased on or after Aug. 2. The new rebate is incremental to all existing rebates from the federal government, utilities, and manufacturers. Installers should direct their customers to reserve a rebate online; rebates will be issued until program funds are depleted.

Examples of Energy Star-rated propane and gas furnaces. To see others, search our product directory.

Following a July 28 decision by the California Energy Commission, customers of Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas Co. are now eligible for additional rebates on top of the state's existing Cash for Appliances program, which has a current maximum of $350. Customers who qualify for the expanded Cash for Appliances PLUS program can receive rebates on more than 4,361 high-efficiency appliances. Rebate amounts range from $50 to $1,000. Both programs cover replacement water heaters, HVAC systems, boilers, furnaces, and other efficient propane appliances. Installation of these appliances engages customers in discussions about whole-home energy performance that comes with building with propane.

Consumers must work with a licensed California contractor for the installations of water heaters and heating and cooling units. More information on California's program, including a list of eligible appliances, is available on the cash4appliances website.

And how about this old gem: The 34-year old Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) recently got a $4.7 billion injection from the ARRA—but, nationally, only about 10 percent of that cash has been spent and only about 10 percent of the projected 586,015 homes have been weatherized. Contractors should keep in mind that this program involves becoming a certified WAP contractor and working for the government. Projects are small—about $6,000 to $10,000 apiece—but steady and easy to sell. For contractors looking to get started in the energy retrofit market, weatherization jobs are a good way to learn the fundamentals of propane performance building concepts at play in larger, whole-home propane projects. And energy-conscious customers satisfied with weatherization projects are good prospects for furnace or water heater replacements.

For more information on becoming a certified WAP contractor, check the WAP techincal assistance center.

For an up-to-date directory of all available state, local, and utility rebates, check out our Rebates and Incentives page. To find the right propane product for your next job, try our searchable propane directory tool.

For training on how to improve energy efficiency and home performance through propane—as well as how to leverage tax incentives to secure projects—be sure to take our AIA- and NAHB-approved training courses at the Propane Training Academy.

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