We were always taught not to brag, but it’s not boasting to say that Bell Brothers is the number-one ranked contractor in terms of getting rebates for our clients in the Sacramento region. We’ve gotten a total of 1.2 million dollars back for our clients in rebates and we’re top-ranked by SMUD regarding jobs submitted, work done, and number of rebates collected by our customers. Not surprisingly, we get a lot of questions from people who are curious about getting the most out of energy efficiency rebates for their home. Whether your company is SMUD or PG&E, we can answer those questions and help you get money back for work on your home.
The first step to getting a good rebate is to find a good contractor. It’s easy to see how companies like SMUD and PG&E recommend contractors online, so start off with your utility company and see how different contractors are ranked for their rebates. Call that contractor to schedule an assessment. Once the assessment has been set up, they’ll come to your home and take a look at everything from the roof to the foundation. This shouldn’t feel like a sales pitch but rather an education session on how your home is doing in terms of energy efficiency. For example, if we think you might benefit from some roof work, we’ll put that in the report we give you, even though we don’t do roof work personally. When Bell Brothers is on the job, you’re getting the most information possible about your home, and our assessments are always free of charge.
Different contractors will prioritize different things. For example, we’re a big fan of attic insulation and ductwork because high-efficiency equipment can’t work optimally without these essential components. Sometimes more work is required, but we believe in doing the most with what’s there already — that’s one of our secrets to getting the most for our clients!
Once we’ve agreed with you on a work plan, we’ll call in a third party to inspect the proposed work. It’s important to have a third party review your home and the rebate work plan. They’ll agree or disagree as to whether you’ll actually get the rebates your contractor says you will. In the past, we’ve seen contractors push for more work in the client’s home than what’s needed, using rebates as justification for doing the work. But ultimately, if the work isn’t needed, the rebate won’t be approved by the utility company.
Once the independent party has approved the work, the contractor will get to business. That’s another reason for hiring a solid contractor: not only do they assess your home, they also do the work. You should feel like the company sees you as a person, not a dollar sign. At all times, the contractor and their employees should be respectful to you and your needs—we’ve been called to more than a few jobs by homeowners dissatisfied with past experiences who are looking to jump ship on a discourteous contractor.
Once the work begins, a lot of things can happen. It’s vital to have a contractor who has your back when the unexpected occurs. We’re the “No Surprise Guys” for a reason—when something goes in an unexpected direction, we fix it, and we don’t add anything to your bill. Because we regularly buy materials and nurture our relationships with local businesses, we get deals on equipment. That all stacks up to money back for our clients.
Getting the Rebate and Some General Tips
“When do we get the rebate?” This is a common question, and the answer varies a bit from job to job and utility company to utility company. Bell Brothers will complete the work and continue to act as your advocate with the utility companies, which generally only do rebate work that’s applied for by a licensed contractor. We’ll take care of this last step for you, and that means the work that gets done is way cheaper than it would be without a rebate.
Some other things to keep in mind: Be wary of contractors who suggest massive amounts of work in the home. Remember that only necessary work will be rebated in the end. Rebates aren’t about massive installations or total-home-remodeling—they’re about getting the most bang for your buck. The home should be the focus, not fancy equipment. It might be necessary in the long run, but putting new equipment in a home that’s not efficient itself is a bad idea. And keep reading this blog! We have several upcoming posts to answer your questions about how to get the most money back on your rebate. If you can’t wait, or have questions that need to be answered now, don’t hesitate—get in touch with us to get your rebate process started today.