An energy-efficient home is designed to keep you comfortable while reducing your overall utility costs and energy consumption. Pennsylvania families spend, on average, more than $2,000 annually on energy bills. The best way to lower these costs is by making energy-efficient upgrades — such as installing ENERGY STAR heat pumps or ductless mini splits — that reduce your overall energy consumption while also improving the comfort and air quality of your home.
However, making the plunge to energy efficiency can be costly and intimidating, especially if you’re new to the process. To help, we’ve put together information about the different Pennsylvania energy efficiency programs that your utility company offers, a guide on what the energy efficiency appliance standards are in PA, and additional information and tips to make the process clearer.
Pennsylvania Energy Efficiency Programs
Energy-efficient upgrades to your home often require a substantial upfront investment, making it difficult to move forward. Fortunately, Pennsylvania utility companies offer customers home energy audits, money-back rebates, and other programs that can help you start your journey towards long-term energy savings. Find your utility company below to learn which programs you may be able to take advantage of.
PECO offers energy rebates on qualifying ENERGY STAR high-efficiency appliance purchases. Receiving money back for these upgrades can make switching to an energy-efficient household even easier. All you have to do is apply within 90-days of purchasing. PECO offers rebates for ENERGY STAR appliances, including:
- Air Source Heat Pump ($200-$300 rebate)
- Room Air Conditioner ($10 rebate)
- Central Air Conditioning ($150-$200 rebate)
- Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump ($150-$300 rebate)
- ECM Fan Motor ($50 rebate)
Maintaining your new appliances is vital to their longevity and efficiency. PECO offers a $25 rebate for air source heat pump maintenance to ensure your appliance is always working effectively. During the appointment, a qualified professional will check and charge the refrigerant and inspect, clean, and/or replace your filters, blower motor, condenser, and evaporator coil (if accessible).
First Energy Companies
Money-Saving Rebates (HVAC Rebates)
FirstEnergy Companies (which include Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power and West Penn Power) offer appliance and HVAC rebates to their customers. Receiving money back for upgrading your home’s appliances can make the switch even simpler. Rebates are offered for a wide range of ENERGY STAR appliances, including:
- Air Purifier ($40 rebate)
- Air Source Heat Pump (Up to $500 rebate)
- Ceiling Fan LED Light Kit ($15 rebate)
- Clothes Dryer (Up to $50 rebate)
- Clothes Washer (Up to $25 rebate)
- Central Air Conditioner (Up to $250 rebate)
- Circulation Pump ($30 rebate)
- Dehumidifier ($25 rebate)
- Dishwasher ($25 rebate)
- Ductless Mini-Split AC ($200 rebate)
- Ductless Mini-Split HP ($200 rebate)
- ECM Motor ($100 rebate)
- Freezer ($25 rebate per unit)
- Geothermal Heat Pump ($650 rebate)
- Heat Pump Water Heater ($500 rebate)
- Heat Pump Air to Water with Domestic Hot Water ($400 rebate)
- HVAC Tune-Up ($50 rebate)
- Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner ($75 rebate)
- Refrigerator (Up to $50 rebate)
- Room Air Conditioner (Up to $100 rebate)
- Smart Thermostat ($50 rebate per unit)
- Solar Water Heater ($500 rebate)
- Variable-Speed Pool Pump ($400 rebate)
- Ventilation Bath Fan ($10 rebate)
Getting a home energy audit is just another step you can take to improve the efficiency and comfort of your home. Energy audits offered by FirstEnergy companies include a full walk-through of your home with a certified energy auditor, a custom energy report with tips on how to save, air leak testing to identify where you may be wasting energy, and more.
Home Energy Analyzer
The FirstEnergy Home Energy Analyzer is a convenient online tool that allows you to analyze, learn, and improve your home's energy usage. All it takes is a few easy steps to start saving.
An outdated appliance can cost up to $100 more to run each year than a newer, more efficient model. FirstEnergy companies will pay you $50 for your old, working refrigerator or freezer, plus $25 for any working air conditioner, dehumidifier, or mini refrigerator.
Energy Efficiency Kits
Residential Customers of FirstEnergy’s PA utilities are eligible to receive a no-cost energy efficiency kit. This kit, sent directly to your home, includes LED light bulbs, LED night-lights, a furnace filter whistle, and a variety of other energy-saving products to get you started.
Investing in modern, high-efficiency appliances helps to reduce your overall energy costs and carbon footprint. UGI Electric offers money-back rebates on a wide range of qualifying, ENERGY STAR appliances, including:
- Combination Boiler ($1,500 rebate)
- Gas Furnace ($500 rebate)
- Gas Boiler ($1,200 rebate)
- Smart Thermostat ($100 rebate)
- Tankless Water Heater ($400 rebate)
UGI’s Save Smart program helps customers gain insight into their home’s energy performance through a comprehensive Home Energy Evaluation. This $50 evaluation provides you with improvement recommendations and an estimate of project incentives, helping you decide on the upgrades that work best for your lifestyle and your budget.
Duquesne Light Co.
Lower your overall energy costs by upgrading your appliances to new, higher efficiency models. Duquesne Light Co. offers money back rebates on a wide range of qualifying, ENERGY STAR appliances, including:
- Air Source Heat Pump ($200 rebate)
- Central Air Conditioner ($150 rebate)
- Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump ($100
- Dehumidifier ($20 rebate)
- Heat Pump Water Heater ($300 rebate)
- Insulation (Up to $400 rebate)
- Smart Thermostats ($185 rebate)
Getting an energy audit on your home can help you learn how to reduce your energy usage, save money, and improve overall comfort. Energy audits offered by Duquesne Light Co. include suggestions for saving energy to reduce overall consumption.
An outdated appliance can consume up to four times as much electricity as a newer, more efficient model. Duquesne Light Watt Choices will pay you cash for your old, working appliances and pick them up from your home at no additional cost.
PPL Electric Utilities
PPL Electric Utilities offers energy rebates for heat and cooling appliances, weatherization upgrades, fuel switch upgrades, and other general appliances. Receiving money back for upgrading your home’s appliances can make the switch even simpler. For heating and cooling, they offer rebates for ENERGY STAR appliances, including:
- Air-Source Heat Pump ($45 rebate)
- Central Air Conditioning ($300 rebate)
- Certified Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pumps ($400 rebate)
- Certified Heat Pump Water Heaters ($400 rebate)
- Certified Smart Thermostats (Up to $100 rebate)
- Comprehensive Retrofit Bonus (Up to $350 rebate)
Pennsylvania Clean Energy Standards
If you’ve looked into upgrading your home's appliances, the ENERGY STAR label may look familiar. As the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, ENERGY STAR products provide significant benefits in terms of energy, economic, and environmental impacts. To measure these benefits, and deem appliances as certified energy-efficient, the following factors are considered:
- Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): The ratio of heat output, divided by the energy used.
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio(SEER): The ratio of cooling output, divided by the energy used.
- Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER): The ratio of cooling capacity, divided by the energy used.
- Coefficient of Performance (COP): The ratio of useful heat supplied or removed from a system, divided by the energy used.
- Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): The percentage of heat converted to space heat from incoming fuel instead of being lost.
- Split Systems vs Single Package Equipment: A split system is a type of air source heat pump or central air conditioner where one or more major assemblies are separated. A single package unit consists of all major components enclosed in one cabinet, such as an air source heat pump or central air conditioner.
The higher each of the factors described above are, the more efficient an appliance is. Now, let’s take a deeper look at the different appliances you can purchase, and what minimum ratings these appliances must meet in order to be certified as energy efficient by ENERGY STAR.
Additional Pennsylvania Energy Incentives, Rebates, and Credits
Renewable Energy Tax Credits
Renewable Energy Tax Credits for Geothermal Heat Pumps
Geothermal heat pumps use the naturally occurring heat from the ground to heat your home, making them one of the most efficient heating and cooling systems available — plus, they often come with tax credits! Customers who invest in a geothermal heat pump can receive 30% in tax credits if they purchase and install their system after 8/16/2022. This tax credit is available to existing homes and new construction and will run through 2032.
High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will lower the overall costs for income qualifying households to replace fossil fuel furnaces, boilers, water heaters, and stoves with new energy efficient alternatives. This $4.8 billion program will be administered state by state and include the following rebates:
- Electric Panel Upgrade (Up to $4,000 rebate)
- Home Insulation and Sealing (Up to $1,600 rebate)
- Home Electrical Wiring Upgrade (Up to $2,500 rebate)
- Home Heat Pump Installation (Up to $8,000 rebate)
- Water Heat Pump Installation (Up to $1,750 rebate)
- Clothes Dryer Heat Pump Installation (Up to $840 rebate)
- Electric Stove Heat Pump (Up to $840 rebate)
This program, which will begin in 2023 and run through September 30, 2031, will provide homeowners the opportunity to collect up to $14,000 in rebates. To qualify, household income must not exceed 150% of the area median income.
For homeowners who are not income eligible, the IRA offers a tax credit of up to $2,000 new heat pump installations, and tax credits for up to $1,200 a year for the installation of an induction stove or new windows and doors.
More information about this program will be available in late 2022.
Manufacturer rebates are a great way to purchase expensive, new appliances at a more reasonable price. Take a look at our current HVAC system rebates and special offers. We encourage you to keep an eye out for your preferred manufacturers' sales and promotions to be the first to know about how you can upgrade and save.
Special financing helps you purchase your new appliances without paying all at once. Select manufacturers offer 0% APR for 12-48 months, allowing you to pay over time within any additional fees.
Energy Efficiency Tips
It doesn't matter what the season is in PA, being more energy efficient helps you save all year round. To ensure that you’re making the right moves and getting the most out of your appliances, we recommend following these tips:
- Get the right appliances: Make sure that you purchase and install appliances that are the correct size for your home. Your equipment should have an appropriate amount of airflow tonnage, have an efficient layout of ductwork, and ample dampers, vents, and returns.
- Install smart thermostats: Smart thermostats help you automate and easily adjust your home's heating and air conditioning directly from your smartphone. You can also track your daily energy usage to see where you can cut down on your overall consumption.
- Clean regularly: Keep your filters and vents clean for optimal air flow and performance.
- Add insulation: Adding insulation around indoor systems, windows, and doors lessens drafts from getting in the house.
- Schedule routine maintenance: Book appointments with a trusted HVAC company to ensure your appliances are running properly and efficiently.
There are many options available to lower the cost of energy-efficient systems. In the end, the primary goal is to make your home run more efficiently while giving you the benefit of long-term cost savings. To learn more about rebates and incentives, we encourage you to reach out to your utility company, or to us, to discuss your options.
Ready to start your journey towards a more energy-efficient home?
Contact us to learn more and get started.