A study sponsored by the Chicagoland Natural Energy Savings Program uncovered several good reasons why homeowners should not hesitant to make energy-efficient improvements to their homes, such as installing up-to-date, high-efficiency furnaces, boilers, or water heaters. The study, conducted online by Strategic Intent, LLC on behalf of the program, took a sampling of 339 homeowners in neighborhoods throughout the city from March 10 to March 14, 2011. The program, which has been in existence since 2008, encourages homeowners to go green by providing financial incentives. So far the program has dispersed more than $6 million in rebates. The study showed that homeowners apparently resist making energy-efficient improvements based on the perceived high cost of green technology. But, most importantly, the study revealed that this hesitation could be overcome through incentives and the promise of a comfortable living environment. Nearly 75% of the homeowners use less heat in the winter in order to save money. Yet, for 95% of the respondents, if there were some financial incentive, they would consider installing a newer energy-efficient product.
While only 44% of the homeowners plan to buy a new heating unit in 2011, the respondents agreed overwhelmingly that these new products are a better choice and are viewed as a logical replacement for older, out-dated equipment. According to Program Representative Meena Beyer, the financial benefits include a reduction in utility costs over time and cash incentives.
Since its inception The Chicagoland Natural Gas Savings Program has assembled an impressive track record with 14,000 projects. Program literature cites the cumulative environmental impact of these projects:
- The incentive program has saved more than 2 million therms of natural gas
- It has prevented 10, 800 tons of carbon dioxide from polluting the atmosphere
The program offers up to $850 in rebates for similar home improvement projects. Experts recommend that homeowner should research the actual costs for equipment and installation (including rebates), instead of relying on pre-conceived notions of cost. Going green could be cheaper than you think. For more information, go to www. Chicagoland Rebates.com to select qualifying projects or Energy Star natural gas equipment. Simply locate a reputable contractor to supervise the installation and apply for the rebate online.
Do you think that The Chicagoland Natural Gas Savings Program encourages homeowners to embrace green technology? Do you think that other incentive programs such as this will be needed to move Chicago homeowners to go green? Share your thought and experiences. Register at the top of the page to receive updates from US Green Technology.
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