Maplewood Deputy Mayor Touts State Rebate Program for Insulating Your House

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State certified contractor conducts "Blower Test" as part of the energy audit at the Leventhal House.

State certified contractor conducts “Blower Test” as part of the energy audit at the Leventhal House.

This fall, Maplewood’s Deputy Mayor Kathleen Leventhal used a state rebate program to have her house insulated — and she told everybody about it.

After participating in the program, Leventhal sent an email to Maplewood residents talking about her experience having her house insulated using the State’s rebate and funding program, Home Performance with Energy Star. In her letter, Leventhal praised the program for being easy to use and enabling her family to make energy upgrades without increasing their monthly payments:

My husband, Jerry and I had an audit completed by a NJ EnergyStar Certified Contractor. They walked through our home with us – even checking above the 3rd floor ceiling. We received a report on where and how we were losing energy, and the solutions available to correct the problems. Our report indicated remedies we could manage ourselves as well as, two solutions we chose to have the contractor arrange – insulation and switching over our family room ceiling lights to LED fixtures. Other options, like a new heating system, are also available.

The financial incentives are what made it possible for us to afford to move forward with the solutions for our home. First, was the rebate from the NJ Clean Energy Program, the maximum rebate amount for 2015-2016 is $4000. Secondly, we have a no-interest loan for the remaining cost. For us, and for most residents, the monthly loan payment is the same or less than the energy savings!

A great part of the financing is that our contractor did all the paperwork for us! We just needed to provide a few documents – like you normally do for a loan – which they submitted. We were notified about approval and setup the work schedule. The work took a mere 3 days.

The change in the comfort of our home is remarkable. As an example, we no longer turn the electric baseboard heat on in the office on our 3rd floor!” -Deputy Mayor Kathy Leventhal

Additionally, Leventhal recommended the website produced by the Green Teams of Maplewood, South Orange, and Millburn — This website includes an overview of the State’s rebate program and a list, complete with reviews from users, of area contractors that are certified to do work for the Home Performance with Energy Star Program.

According to the website, the New Jersey Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) Program provides incentives of up to $4,000 in cash-back rebates and up to $10,000 in zero-interest financing to residents who make improvements on their home. The monthly repayment of the financed amount is often the same or less than the savings from energy reduction the homeowner receives, so there may be no additional monthly outlay of money.

“The intent is to make it easier for residents to get an energy audit,” said Walter Clarke, South Orange Village Trustee and a member of the organizing green team committee.

Ellen Ingber, co-chair of the Millburn Township Green Team added, “Millburn Township recently launched a Home Energy Assessment Campaign designed to reduce energy consumption. We encourage Millburn residents to participate in the Township’s program, which offers them a discounted rate with an approved home energy audit provider.”

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