Don’t Overpay for Energy Conservation Improvements

Air Sealing and insulation upgrades can do wonders for comfort and reduce heating costs, but the initial cost still deserves scrutiny before making a commitment. Personal or social energy conservation motives and available rebates may be attractive, but they are not assurance of a fair contractor price, even if the contractor is certified by the rebate authority and the rebates are funded with tax dollars. The rebate authority may perform energy saving calculations based on the contractor’s proposed improvements, but the calculations may exclude any consideration of the quoted price vs. common market pricing of the proposed improvements. In other words, it is possible for a certified energy conservation contractor to charge several times the fair market price for an improvement, and that does happen. If your social consciousness is driving your interest in energy conservation, you might also consider the fact that paying 4 or 5 times the fair price for an improvement and receiving a correspondingly higher rebate means that available rebate funds will be reduced, and several others who may need similar energy conservation improvements will not be able to afford them. So, paying a higher than market price for energy conservation improvements is actually not a socially conscious thing to do. Instead, it is just the opposite, and it might even be called “politically incorrect”.

Posted in Energy Efficiency

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