Going Green: Rebates Make It Pay to Remodel Now


Are you planning a fall remodel? Good news—there could be some cash coming your way.

On the heels of a successful Cash For Clunkers automobile program, the federal government has approved a similar program for home appliances. Consumers will begin to see the program, sometimes referred to as “Cash For Refrigerators,” heavily advertised in a few weeks, as it is rolled out through the end of the year.

And if you’re looking to replace major appliances or systems in your home, it’s a great time to take a “green” step. “In the long term, it’s going to save you money,” says Northbrook consultants Go Green Global partner Brian Bruce. “And it’s just the responsible thing to do.”

Spending a few dollars more for highly efficient appliances pays off in more ways than one. “The more ‘green’ things you do to your property, the more marketable the home becomes,” says Bruce. “If two homes in the same neighborhood are on the market and comparably priced, which one do you think will sell faster? The one with more energy-efficient appliances.”

Bruce also recommends considering the recycled content of the unit or system you are considering. “It’s just one more way you can ‘go green’ without a major effort on your part.”

The Cash for Appliances program is a great way to make some of the more expensive, yet energy-efficient appliances more easily affordable. “It’s a great program to take advantage of,” says Bruce. “Look for the yellow sticker—it’s going to tell you everything you need to know about the product’s efficiency.”

Here are a few more remodeling rebates to consider: (for a complete list, visit Energystar.gov):

Solar-powered water heaters — Depending on the model, you could receive a 30 percent rebate.

Central A/C Units — Look for a “1st Tier” – rated unit to qualify for a 30 percent rebate up to $1,500.
Water Heaters — Replace your unit with an energy-efficient model and qualify for a 30 percent rebate up to $1,500.

Doors, Windows and Skylights — The key is to look for and purchase doors, windows and/or skylights with a U-Factor of .3 or less.

Roofing and Insulation — It’s another 30 percent rebate for any purchase of Energy Star qualified metal or asphalt roofing, as well as “green insulation.” Visit Energystar.gov