California HVAC Rebate FAQ #1: What Are the Best HVAC and Energy Efficiency Rebates and Loans in California?Many people are surprised and delighted to learn that there are several incentive programs available in California. In fact, we’re one of the few states that offers some of these programs. The programs I’m especially passionate about include:
- SMUD: This program offers loan financing on energy-efficient appliances, like HVAC systems, and rebates on nifty new fridges, washers and dryers, and heat pumps, to name a few.
- HERO: HERO is a local government-approved program that offers up to 100% financing to homeowners looking to make water and energy-efficient home renovations, from installing solar panels to new HVAC systems.
- Ygrene: Offering 100% financing with no money down, Ygrene is a great program for homeowners looking to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. The best part is that the balance gets tacked on to your property tax, so paying back the loan is super simple.
- CalFIRST: What’s great about CalFIRST is that they pay upfront for energy-efficient upgrades for your home, with repayment plans between 5 and 30 years. CalFIRST requires that you work with a Renew Financial Registered Contractor, like the friendly folks at Bell Brothers, to do the work for your home upgrade. P.S. – Bell Brothers can also help you navigate the application process.
- PACE: This public-private partnership offers loans for home upgrades that improve a home’s energy efficiency, much like the others. What’s unique about PACE, though, is that the loan balance stays with the home when you move.
California HVAC Rebate FAQ # 2: What Upgrades and Appliances Can I Get Rebates for?Each program is a little different when it comes to what particular energy-efficient home improvements they cover. If you’re looking for HVAC rebates in particular, SMUD and Ygrene may be your best options. For the specifics on other types of energy-efficient home upgrades, either peruse the various websites or call up the folks at Bell Brothers and ask them. Like I said, they’ll hook you up with the best program for your specific project and your financial needs. Here are just a few of the things that the various rebates cover:
- HVAC system replacement
- Double pane window installation
- Year-round insulation
- Low flow water fixtures
- Efficient hot water heaters
California HVAC Rebate FAQ # 3: How Do I Qualify for an Incentive or Rebate Program?All of the programs that I mentioned above require that you own the home you plan to upgrade. While each incentive and rebate program has different criteria they assess to see if you qualify, most of them actually don’t require a credit score assessment and are instead based on the equity of your home. The good news is, there are so many different rebate and financing programs out there that if you don’t qualify for one, you could always try applying to another. Remember, if the application process is overwhelming to you, call up the folks at Bell Brothers to help you out. If you let them know what you’re looking for in an incentive program, they may be able to tell you what program you are most likely to qualify for.
California HVAC Rebate FAQ # 4: How Do I Apply for a California HVAC Rebate?Most of the California HVAC and energy-efficient rebates and financing programs have an online application process. The processing time for most of the applications is pretty quick. Ygrene, for instance, let’s you know if you’ve been approved for financing within 30 minutes of submitting your online application. If you are more comfortable speaking to someone directly, though, some applications, like the one for CalFIRST, can be done over the phone.
Before you apply for any program, though, you should have a good idea about what kind of upgrades you want to do on your home—and what your home’s equity is.Before you apply for any program, though, you should have a good idea about what kind of upgrades you want to do on your home—and what your home’s equity is. It’s also a good idea to have had a consultation with an experienced contractor to get an idea of how much the work will cost before you apply. That way, you’ll be well-equipped to fill out the application.