Making energy-efficient upgrades to your home or business can be an investment yet often the process can be expensive. Puget Sound Energy wants customers to know the process doesn’t have to be costly, thanks to a variety of money-saving programs in the form of grants and rebates offered to customers. What’s even better news is that both commercial and residential customers can apply for the savings programs.

Whether you’re buying a home, remodeling, or just looking to reduce costs, you can use Puget Sound Energy’s valuable rebates and offers to save on energy efficiency upgrades. Plus, there are rebates available for multifamily buildings, such as apartments or condos, as well as rebates available for existing businesses, and money-saving opportunities for new construction programs.

Energy-Saving Benefits in a Century-Old Building

One example of a recent successful commercial grant was a boiler replacement at the Pierce County Firefighters Union Hall in Puyallup. Built in 1924 as an Elks Lodge, the old boiler in the building was replaced with an upgraded, energy-efficient natural gas boiler. In the case of the Pierce County Firefighters Union Hall, the natural gas savings were substantial. The Pierce County Firefighters applied for and received a $13,000 grant they were able to apply toward the cost of replacing their old boiler.

Puget Sound Energy
Upgrading the old HVAC system at the Pierce County Firefighters Union Hall in Puyallup meant not disturbing any possible asbestos insulation. The estimated savings is 2,619 therm from the boiler replacement. Photo courtesy: Puget Sound Energy

“The Union Hall is a very large building and the new system allows us to be more efficient with both the cost and energy savings,” says Pierce County Firefighters Communication Director Jasper Stenstrom. 

Their old boiler system was the original heating system for the building, and the cast iron pipes burst repeatedly, causing damage to the flooring in their auditorium. 

Although they needed a new system, the $100,000 cost for an updated boiler system was a barrier. Knowing they would continue to incur repair expenses, they decided to apply for the grant to help offset the price of the system upgrade. 

“The process was streamlined,” Stenstrom says. “We were super surprised to get it and we couldn’t be more thankful that we received the grant.” 

According to estimates by Puget Sound Energy, the new boiler contributes to 18% of total building usage or equates to an average of $2,500 per year in cost savings. Or, to put it in a different perspective, without receiving the grant it would have taken just over 13 years for the Pierce County Firefighters to offset the added cost of the new high efficiency condensing boiler versus the cost of installing a standard efficiency boiler. With the grant money, they reduced the payback time of the high-efficiency condensing boiler by five years.

Puget Sound Energy
Puget Sound Energy offers grants and rebates to commercial and residential customers for a variety of energy-efficient upgrades, like replacing a heating unit like this upgraded boiler. Photo courtesy: Puget Sound Energy

The success of the Union Hall building is one example of the way the energy savings grant projects work. But every project is unique and Puget Sound Energy considers that when they award their rebates.

“We look at each project as potential energy savings, but we also want it to make sense for the customer, and for the project to be within a cost range that benefits them,” says PSE’s Supervisor for Energy Management Engineering Jason Dinwiddie.

The programs get updated, and new ones get introduced often, so even if a customer has applied before or looked at the rebate and grant programs in the past, it’s a good idea to revisit the rebate programs page on PSE’s website.

“The best advice is to go to the website and look around and see what’s available,” said Dinwiddie.

An Ideal Time for Energy-Saving Projects

Because of COVID-19, more people are working remotely. With many businesses and commercial buildings staffed below capacity—or in some cases completely unstaffed— now is the ideal time to do retrofitting projects that may have been waiting on the backburner. There are several commercial energy savings incentives that could be implemented now, like lighting retrofitting projects for a whole-building approach to energy savings.

Likewise, homeowners could use this time to complete remodeling upgrades, or utilize energy-efficient improvements. With Puget Sound Energy’s valuable rebates and offers, it’s easy to save on energy efficiency upgrades to your home.

Even if you’re not ready to tackle some of those bigger projects, it’s always the right time to investigate ways to save energy—and some money in the process. Puget Sound Energy’s website has energy-saving tips for your home that range from weatherization tips to the best ways to save energy while using common household appliances and electronics.

With just a few simple steps and completing an application online, customers can see if their energy saving project qualifies for grant money. To find out more about the different grants and rebates available and how to apply for them, visit Puget Sound Energy’s website.

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