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TID offers cool way to save energy

POSTED June 27, 2009 4:26 p.m.
Turlock Irrigation District customers with the sort of outdated heating and cooling systems that make electricity meters spin and budget-conscious homeowners cringe are now eligible for rebates that could make purchasing a new air conditioner a bit more palatable.
A new TID rebate program, announced Tuesday, will offer $500 towards replacing existing residential central air conditioning or heat pump systems with newer, more efficient models. When coupled with a federal tax credit program which offers as much as $1,500, Turlockers could see $2,000 discounted from the approximately $3,000 to $6,000 cost of an ENERGY STAR qualified air conditioner.
“I was actually looking at the program and thought, hey, I could use a new air conditioner,” said TID Public Information Division Manager Michelle Reimers.
The new rebate program is funded through a 2.85 percent Public Benefits charge that is assessed to all customers’ electricity bills. According to the TID, the program is expected to reduce daily peak electricity demands caused by air conditioning load.
The U.S. Department of Energy finds that customers who upgrade from air conditioners built in the late 1970s can expect to use between 30 and 50 percent less energy with a new, high efficiency system. Even units from the 1990s use 20 to 30 percent more energy than their modern counterparts.
For the average consumer, heating and cooling bills run about $1,000 per year. Those who install new air conditioners can expect to save about $300 annually, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The TID rebate program is available for all residential customers who install qualified central air conditioning or heat pump systems between June 16 and Dec. 31, 2010. Lists of required minimum system efficiency standards to qualify for the rebate are available at the TID Web site.
“It’s a great program for people that want to lower their energy use, and who may be looking for a new central air conditioning or heating system,” said TID District 4 Director Rob Santos.
For more information about the federal tax credit, visit www.energystar.gov. Details regarding TID’s program are available at www.tid.com, or by calling 883-8432.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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