As the cost of gas continues to soar in Chicago, homeowners have an ability to offset certain utility bills with the Chicago Natural Gas Savings Program. The green-inspired rebate gives customers the opportunity to upgrade to an energy efficient appliance, such as a gas furnace, boiler, water heater and other high efficiency products.
The ratepayers of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas are ultimately funding the Chicago Natural Gas Savings Program, which is a line item that appears on the utility bill as the: Enhanced Efficiency Program. Promoting high efficiency and gas saving products is the objective of the environmentally oriented project.
According to the Department of Energy, “more-stringent energy efficiency standards for residential furnaces and boilers will result in energy savings.” Only five-years old, the Chicago Rebate Program is organized via Peoples Gas, the City of Chicago Department of Environment, the Citizen’s Utility Board, the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. For some, the program is ‘˜green’ because it supports energy savings, reduces energy costs, while being beneficial to the ecosystem.
The eligibility requirements are straightforward. Peoples Gas customers have until May 30, 2011 to purchase an ENERGY STAR qualified product. Rebate savings hinge on the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rating system determined by the Department of Energy (Energy.gov). A furnace with an AFUE of 92 percent would qualify for up to $200 in rebates. The higher the efficiency of the appliance, the better the rebate savings is. (ChicagolandRebates.com features a list of high efficiency products).
In neighborhoods, such as Old Town-Lincoln Park, Lakeview and other Chicago communities, where properties tend to be more than 30-years old, the Chicago Natural Gas Savings Program might be just the incentive to switch over to high efficient gas conserving products.
Thus far, the initiative has been a resounding success. An article by BusinessWire.com documented that Chicago participants actualized an energy savings of 800,000 therms (a measurement of heat equivalent to 8 British thermal units) of natural gas, more than $2 million in rebates as well as interrupting more than 7.7 million tons of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere.
Market research, published by ENERGY STAR, indicates that the average American household consumes $2,200 per year in energy expenditures.The report also illustrates that water heaters and space heaters account for 72 percent of a home’s entire energy consumption in the Midwest.
Even though the Chicago Natural Gas Savings Program features scores of qualifying products: furnaces, water heaters, boilers, steam trap, and even various types of insulation installations (hot pipe, attic and wall insulation), experts recommend that consumers conduct adequate homework. When comparing the cost of replacing an older appliance with a new one, research the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE).
Meanwhile,–as for the installation of any high efficiency product, Chicagoans should not cut corners; instead hire an authorized contractor or heating and cooling company. For additional information, visit ChicagolandRebates.com.