More money now available for energy-efficient upgrades

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House been feeling drafty lately? Or is it your energy bill that’s giving you the chills? There’s never been a better time to replace windows and insulation and seal your attic air. Minnesota homeowners can get up to $4,000 in rebates for making these energy-efficient home improvements through a new program called Project ReEnergize.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce allocated $2.5 million from its federal stimulus money for the program, which began Oct.1 and is administered by the Builders Association of Minnesota.

What qualifies?

Homeowners can get up to $4,000 in rebates with attic air sealing and up to $2,500 in rebates without attic air sealing. Here’s a list of improvements eligible for the rebates, taken from the Project ReEnergize Web site:

Energy Efficiency Measures Eligible For Rebate Maximum Rebate per Household
Replacement Energy Star window without attic air sealing $250 per window
Replacement Energy Star window with attic air sealing $300 per window
Advanced air sealing of attic $800
Attic insulation $800
Exterior wall insulation $800
Replacing orphaned atmospherically vented water heater $750

Bargain-hunting Star Tribune columnist Kara McGuire delineated on her blog the program requirements better than I could reinvent:

  • Home must be owner-occupied and constructed prior to the year 2000.
  • Must work with a Project ReEnergize qualified contractor, licensed by the state of Minnesota.
  • Only work completed after October 1, 2009 is eligible for rebates.
  • Rebate eligible energy efficient projects must be completed before rebate application can be submitted.
  • Age of Housing Constructed prior to 2000.
  • Square Footage 3,000 square feet or less; not including basements, garages or crawlspaces.
  • Home must be owner occupied and homeowner must have permission to alter building shell.
  • There are no household income limits. Only properties meeting the square footage limit are eligible for rebates.

Project ReEnergize rebates can be received on top of current federal tax credits (up to $3,500 for similar improvements) and energy company incentives for increasing energy efficiency.

Don’t try to save more money by doing it yourself. Projects must be completed by a Project ReEnergize qualified contractor.

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