ENERGY SAVING FAQs

DO YOU HAVE REBATES FOR SOLAR PANELS?


Inland participates in the Washington State Renewable Energy System Incentive Program. Therefore, we have production incentives from the state as funds are available and net metering credits, but they are not “rebates” or upfront money for purchasing a system, like we offer for energy efficiency.




WHY ARE MY BILLS HIGHER WHEN "I DIDN'T DO ANYTHING DIFFERENT?"


If your bill is unexpectedly higher, something IS different. Normally, weather trends cause the greatest increases. Behavioral changes, occupancy changes, and forgotten loads are also very common. The answer can always be found with a thorough search and using measurement tools such as Smarthub.




DO YOU HAVE REBATES FOR REGRIGERATOR AND FREEZER RECYCLING?


No. The recycling company Inland formerly partnered with, went out of business in 2016 with no local replacement. If you have purchased a new refrigerator, some retailers offer a recycling service for a fee, or you can haul the old appliance to your Waste Management facility for proper disposal.




DO YOU OFFER RESIDENTIAL LED REBATES?


CFL and incandescent bulbs are no longer manufactured, making LED’s standard in the marketplace. Additionally, the price of LED’s has been substantially reduced which does not make offering a rebate cost effective.




ARE THERE REBATES FOR MY (RESIDENTIAL) SHOP/GARAGE?


Upgrading shops and garages with energy efficient products do not provide enough energy savings to be cost effective and qualify for a rebate.




WILL YOU DO AN ENERGY AUDIT FOR ME?


Limited staffing prevents us from being able to provide energy audits outside of an unexplained high-use situation. We can refer you to local certified energy auditors or explain the functions of “Smarthub” so that you may investigate the nature of your home’s energy consumption.




WHICH IS THE BEST, MOST EFFIECIENT ELECTRIC HEATER?


All electric heaters have the same efficiency rating. Claims of being more efficient in one way or another are untrue. Portable electric heaters should be selected for safety and convenience features.




SHOULD I HAVE FOAM INSULATION ADDED TO MY WALLS?


You need expert evaluation before adding any kind of insulation. Getting multiple recommendations and bids from trusted insulation experts is strongly advised before responding to a coupon ad or lofty claim. Visit the Insulation page to obtain a list of recommended insulation experts.




WHAT REBATES ARE AVAILABLE FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION?


There are rebate opportunities for new construction however not many as code requirements continue to increase. Our rebate program is designed to pay for efficiency gains above code.This means that insulation, windows, most appliances and some heating and cooling systems no longer qualify for rebates. However, if you install a hybrid water heater, new washer or dryer, an electric vehicle charger or a high efficiency heat pump via one of our participating contractor's you may be eligible for rebates.




IS THERE A REBATE FOR A NEW FURNACE?


Heat pumps are the only technology shown to save enough energy to be cost effective under our rebate program structure.




I REPLACED MY LEAKING, INEFFICIENT WINDOWS WITH NEW ONES. DO I QUALIFY FOR THE REBATE?


Only if the pre-existing windows were single-paned. Per analysis performed by energy specialists, energy savings are found in the frame and leaking windows are a product defect. Replacing windows-only does not yield enough energy savings to constitute a rebate per the program standards developed by Bonneville Power Administration, our power supplier.




WHY SHOULDN'T I COMPARE MY ELECTRIC BILL TO MY NEIGHBOR'S?


No two homes are the same. Comparing your power bill to your neighbor’s is like comparing apples to oranges. The following are just a few examples of variables which make neighborly comparisons difficult:  • Age of home • Materials used in construction • Square footage • Type of heating and cooling • Thermostat settings • Ages and the number of the people living there (and how often are they home) • Upgrades • Out buildings and outdoor animals




HOW DO SMART THERMOSTATS WORK?


They sample outside weather, indoor temperature, learn furnace performance and learn your comfort needs and home occupation habits. They put it all together with software and a remote app for your mobile device. The software controls your thermostat for the most efficient operation and the app incorporates alarms for odd occurrences like a door left open. The learning ability of these controls make them efficient, comfortable and convenient!




I HAVE A SMART THERMOSTAT - WHY DOESN'T IT QUALIFY FOR A REBATE?


There is a limited selection of products that meet our specifications. Many smart thermostats are missing the occupancy sensor or third-party/independent energy saving evaluation to qualify. For full rebate details, check out our section on Advanced Smart Thermostats.




DO I GET A DISCOUNT FOR CHARGING MY EV ON OFF-PEAK TIMES?


Inland does not currently have Time of Day (TOD) rates, therefore there is no discount for charging off-peak hours. Although we don’t have future plans for TOD rates we do encourage the purchase of a programmable charger for convenience and to prepare for the possibility. Our incentive is structured to cover 50% of the increased cost associated with the purchase of a programmable level-2 charger.




WHICH HVAC CONTRACTOR SHOULD I USE?


Inland will not recommend one contractor above the another. However, the contractors who are a part of our networks have been trained on our programs and must meet specified qualifications to participate. Inland strongly encourages the homeowner to obtain a minimum of three bids. Inform the company of your Inland Power membership and that you want a system that qualifies for the rebate. The bids should be similar in price. • Full listings of the Contractor Networks are listed on the Heat Pump portion of our website.




DO I HAVE TO USE A CONTRACTOR FROM INLAND'S LIST?


Should you wish to use a contractor not listed, please call Inland or have the contractor call and speak to a representative in the Energy Services department. Inland strives to add contractors to our list and those who are currently listed are those who actively participate in our programs. There are contractors who have the proper credentials but do not actively promote rebates. For example, for ducted heat pump installations, the contractor must be Performance Tested Comfort Systems certified (PTCS). IF the contractor is not familiar with this term, chances are high they are not certified, and the installation will not qualify for the rebate.




WHAT IF I'VE ALREADY HAD THE HEAT PUMP INSTALLED - CAN I STILL GET THE REBATE?


Ducted units require test numbers from the technician at the time of install. Filing for the claim after install is a bit cumbersome. The first step is to contact the contracting company to make sure the installed equipment meets the required specifications (HSPF 9+). If so, the tech must come back out to run the commissioning tests required by our program and submit the proper paperwork to Inland. Contractors commonly charge a test fee of approximately $300.




I PURCHASED A HIGH EFFICIENCY CLOTHES WASHER/DRYER, WHY DON'T THEY QUALIFY FOR A REBATE?


“High Efficiency” does not equal “Energy Saving.” Consumers need to look for the Energy Star certified logo to ensure they are purchasing appliances that have undergone energy saving verification measures.




IS THERE A REBATE FOR "REGULAR" WATER HEATERS?


Standard electric resistance water heaters all have similar performance due to compliance with codes and standards implemented by the Department of Energy. This standardization eliminated any rebates offered except for hybrid water heaters. Hybrid water heaters save energy above current codes and Inland continues to offer a $400 rebate for tank sizes 50-75 gallons. Any size over 75+ gallons qualifies for a $600 rebate. These units are more expensive than the standard electric, but hopefully the rebates combined with lower operating costs will persuade consumers to make the purchase. Not sure what models qualify? Visit the portion the Hybrid Water Heater portion of the website.




DO YOU HAVE HOT WATER HEATER BLANKETS?


An insulation blanket is not recommended for a water heater located where its lost heat could be utilized (conditioned space). Nor is a blanket necessary if you have a new water heater that is factory insulated with R-16 or better. (The factory-installed insulation is located between the metal shell and the tank, so don’t worry if you can’t see it.) The manufacturer’s label will tell you how much insulation your water heater contains. New water heaters come with the appropriate levels of insulation built into them and potential over-wrapping can cause components to overheat. If you have an old water heater or a unit located in unconditioned space, consider purchasing a newer model like a hybrid water heater. Inland offers $400 or $600 for a hybrid pump water heater, depending on the size of the tank installed. Instead of running straight electric resistance to heat water, the same technology you’ve heard from the HVAC industry (heat pump) has been installed in the water tank with estimated savings of 50% over the standard electric hot water heaters. For more information on how these heaters work and save energy (and money) visit our Hybrid Water Heater portion of the website.