Monday, September 29, 2008

So, Guess Who Is Buying A New Furnace?

It could be the motor.
It could be the drive shafts and ball bearings.

But it doesn't matter because the welds on the 30 year old monster are starting to "go."

I've been doing some research--and lo and behold, the Federal government has an EcoEnergy program designed to encourage homeowners to make upgrades to their homes in the name of energy efficiency. Depending on the kind of furnace we purchase we could be eligible for $300 to $500.

However.

In order to qualify, you have to enroll in the program. In order to enroll in the program you have to have an "energy assessment" completed. (We had one done in 2002 --it's too "old" to qualify. We paid $100.00 for it.)

I have called three companies and was only able to get a quote from one of them: $275.00 for the initial assessment and $99.00 for the follow up. (AND they are unable to even come do the assessment until Oct 23. (brrrr.))

eh?

The city we live in has chosen to match one of the federal grants. If we

Replace [our] furnace with an ENERGY STAR qualified furnace (that has a 92.0% annual fuel utilization efficiency or better, with a DC variable-speed motor

then the city will match the $500 federal grant. So, we may come out ahead by $600.00 ($1000 minus the inspection/program fees.)

So, the next thing to do is find out how much more a furnace like the above costs vs. the other furnaces listed as eligible for the federal rebate (but not the municipal rebate, though come to think of it, given the fees, it isn't worth it) vs. the medium grade clunker required by building code.

The husband is of the opinion that rebates tend to artificially inflate the cost of the item in question, and he's likely right.

I never once imagined that I would ever turn away from a "free" $1,000.00.

Nonetheless, the rebate program also covers things like replacing hot water heaters and installing insulation in the attic and basement (and other stuff). Total possible eligibilty is $5,000. But, you can only apply once--which means if we want to maximize the rebates available to us, we have to all the work within an 18 month period.

So, guess who shouldn't have taken an expensive family vacation this year?

4 comments :

Anne (in Reno) said...

Oof. That IS complicated. We have been doing those things bit by bit so we haven't been getting rebates etc. But based on what we've gotten done, you might be able to shoehorn in attic insulation and a new water heater if it means you can get more of the rebate. I don't recall either of them being super expensive and they were both small projects, as they go (neither took more than a couple of hours and were easy to organize). Good luck figuring this out though, it seems silly that you can only apply for the rebate once!

drwende said...

In the U.S., EnergyStar is close to being standard for new appliances; if that's true in Canada, the pricing may not be so bad. Usually these incentive programs exist to motivate households to retire old appliances.

Don't forget that you'll see significant savings on heating fuel with an EnergyStar furnace.

Christine in dC said...

Gotta love bureaucracy!

Alana in Canada said...

Well, I have since discovered that only two retailers carry energyStar rated furnaces--Sears and the Bay.

Prospects for not spending thousands and thousands aren't looking too good, here. Of course, I couldn't get a ball park figure--I had to deal with a call centre and leave all sorts of info--and someone would call back in 24 hours to "book an appointment."

I guess it has to be complicated.
(I'd rather jump through these hoops for radiant in floor heating, though.)

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