What is an efficiency rebate?
A rebate is a partial refund that many utility providers offer to customers to incentivize energy efficient choices. Most of the time, a rebate takes the form of a check mailed to the customer after the qualifying project is completed. This means that you will pay full price for the work and then receive a partial refund later.
What are common examples of rebate-eligible projects?
Common examples of projects with rebates offered by natural gas utilities include:
Air sealing and insulation for attic and exterior wall spaces
Upgrading to a high-efficiency natural gas boiler or furnace
Upgrading to high-efficiency water heater
Upgrading to programmable or smart thermostats
Common examples of projects with rebates offered by electric utilities include:
Upgrading to a high-efficiency air conditioner or mini split
Installing a variable speed motor in your new high-efficiency furnace
Upgrading to smart thermostats
Rebate offerings vary from one utility to another, so make sure to check with your utility before you start an energy-related project. There are often requirements you have to meet in order to earn the rebate, such as purchasing mechanical equipment that meets the utility’s specific efficiency standard or selecting a contractor from a specific list compiled by the utility.
Also, keep in mind that utilities may offer smaller rebates or other incentives for things like purchasing Energy Star® appliances, high-efficiency lighting, water-saving aerators and showerheads, or even hiring a contractor to clean and tune your heating system.
How do I earn a rebate?
Visit your utilities website to learn about the rebates they offer and any specific rules they may have. If you have questions about the project or an estimate from a contractor, you can contact CEE's free Energy Advisor Service. We can answer your questions and help you with your project.
Below are links to some Minnesota utility websites that describe potential rebate options for energy efficiency projects. If you are outside of Minnesota, make sure to check with your local utility to see what rebates they offer.
Rebate and discount tool
Citizens Utility Board offers a way to easily find the rebates and discounts offered through your utility.