Energy Star promotes energy efficiency, resources

Company officials at Energy Star see energy efficient and renewable energy systems as a road to an improved economy through job generation and cost savings. A number of rebates and tax incentives are available to Southern Nevada homeowners.

The federal government offers a residential energy efficiency tax credit of 30 percent of the cost for upgrades to energy efficient heat pumps, furnaces, air conditioners, insulation, water heaters, windows, doors and roofs. Simple home improvements designed to lower energy bills are eligible for a combined total of $1,500 in federal tax credits for the 2009-2010 two-year period.

While the 30 percent only applies to equipment when improving insulation, doors and windows, it applies to equipment and installation when purchasing high-efficiency heating, cooling and water-heating equipment.

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy has provided funds to the state of Nevada to issue rebates to residents that purchase Energy Star certified appliances. Rebates are available in the form of a prepaid Visa card until funds are depleted. Nevada homeowners may be eligible for $150 for washing machines, $100 for dishwashers, $150 for freezers and $200 for refrigerators that are Energy Star certified and purchased from Nevada retailers.

Also under the Recovery Act, the federal Weatherization Assistance Program allows low-income families to permanently reduce energy bills by making homes more energy efficient. Funds for the program ensure advanced technology and testing protocol to improve the energy efficiency of homes.

Local utility companies are also offering rebates and incentives for homeowners that improve energy efficiency. NV Energy will pay $30 for an old refrigerator or freezer, hauling it away for free. To qualify, appliances must be in working condition and be at least 10 cubic feet.

Additionally, NV Energy customers that sign up for the company’s Cool Share program will not only see lower energy bills, but also qualify for a free programmable thermostat worth up to $300 with installation. Air conditioning incentives also exist.

If filtering the pool with a single-speed pump, NV Energy is offering a $200 rebate to help homeowners upgrade to an energy-efficient, variable speed pump, which can save up to 80 percent on energy costs associated with pool operation.

Southwest Gas Corp. also is offering rebates to residential customers in Southern Nevada that purchase energy efficient gas appliances. Homeowners may be eligible for a rebate of $100 for a natural gas storage water heater, $200 for a natural gas tankless water heater, $50-$100 for a clothes washer, $30 for a natural gas clothes dryer, $20 for a programmable thermostat and $30 for a smart low-flow showerhead.

In addition, Southwest Gas is providing incentives for residential customers in Southern Nevada for installation of solar water heaters and solar space heaters. The rebate is worth 30 percent of the system’s installed cost up to $1,500 for solar water heaters and $3,000 for solar space heaters.

Water efficiency remains an important issue and the Southern Nevada Water Authority continues to offer rebates of $1.50 per square foot of grass removed and replaced with desert landscaping up to 5,000 square feet. SNWA also offers instant rebate coupons for single-family residential property owners for qualifying water-saving pool covers, rain sensors and smart irrigation controllers.

HomeFree Nevada, a community partner of Clark County, the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson, businesses and organizations offers rebates and incentive programs for home energy audits and retrofits performed by qualified auditors and contractors. Check with the city for information and rebate amounts.

To keep up to date on energy efficiency practices, laws and rebates, visit the Nevada Energy Star Partners — Green Alliance website at thinkenergystar.com.

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