Posted by: greenpinkies | October 12, 2010

Energy Rebates or “Don’t throw away that water heater!”

Now you may think that this is a complete reversal of our “Pet Peeve #1, dated August 23)  entitled “Why’d you throw that away?”   Actually, though, it is not.

However;  there is some truth in considering closely what you are throwing away when you do a full gut energy retrofit of a house, namely: how is throwing this item away affecting your eligibility for the Federal, State and local rebates on energy efficient upgrades?

Under the the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Arkansas, (and many other states) have been granted funds to give rebates to customers who upgrade their existing appliances to Energystar Certified appliances and recycle (dispose of) the old appliance.  In Arkansas money is available for Hot Water Heaters, Refrigerators and Clothes Washers upgrades.

The key is that you do not qualify for the rebate if you do not have the old model appliance to document the recycling and disposing of it.

If you have the old model, here is the projected Arkansas state rebate for buying an Energystar rated new one:

Energy Star Hot Water Heaters: $300

Clothes Washers    $225

Refrigerators           $275

For Renewable Energy there is also:

Solar Thermal $30/square foot

Solar Thermal requires a more extensive application process in that you must submit an application according to guidelines and be approved before you can begin construction of the project. You must also use a recognized contractor.

Upon further research we also found that the Local Rebates offered by our electric company, SWEPCO, are similarly earmarked. The difference is that the rebate for air duct sealing, and the air infiltration of a house has to be documented by testing before and then after the service is performed.  We are blindly fortunate in that we had RESNET Rater Gary Kahanak, do the full ‘before’ testing on this house. Otherwise we might have torn out all the ductwork and any other evidence required for the rebate process and lost out on the opportunity.


Energy Star Units,

Central Air Conditionar Rebates and Heat Pump Rebates of between $125 to $300 each.

SWEPCO also offers percentage rebates based on before and after performance: (The following are percentages based upon improvement).

Duct Sealing coupon to defray the cost of duct sealing

House Air Sealing coupon to defray the cost of Sealing the House

Insulation Coupon to defray the cost of insulation

Arkansas Western Gas offers:

Hydronic Heating System $350 82% or higher $350
Tankless Water Heater        $300 82% or higher $300

All of the above rebates seem to be cumulative in nature. Pile them on!

Tax Credits from the Federal Government:

30% up to $1,500

Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning (HVAC)

This is added altogether.  You cannot get, say, up to $1,500 for the windows and then apply for another $1,500 for the HVAC system etc. Nope, you can only have up to $1,500 for the cost of putting in everything, added together. You can, however, add on the State Energystar rebates and local rebates To your tax savings  and total it out.

Solar Energy Systems

30% of cost no upper limit

We estimate there is the potential in a full gut rehab to achieve approximately $3,000 in incentives and rebates. But, the reality remains to be seen. We also admit that this list is probably not comprehensive. is a good source for energy saving procedures you can do on a home.



  1. It typically accounts for about 13% of your utility bill. Household Air

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