Residential Rebates

Looking to improve your home’s air quality, save on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint? You don’t have to do it alone! In Truckee there are a number of incentives and services available to help you evaluate your options and to pay for home upgrades.

THE INCENTIVES

From the Truckee Donner Public Utilities District (TDPUD) 

  • Money back on Energy Star rated electric appliances, heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, induction cooktops, EV chargers, electric panel upgrades, efficient toilets and building envelope upgrades. You can now apply online for these rebates.
  • Money back on water leak repairs  
  • FREE remote home energy audits that provide residents with tips to save on their energy bills and reduce energy use (COMING SOON) 
  • Energy Savings Assistance Program for income-eligible customers. Provides an energy assessment along with installation of qualifying home weatherization measures (Currently undergoing updates – STAY TUNED!)  

From Liberty Utilities  

  • FREE home energy audits that provide residents with tips to save on their energy bills and reduce energy use. Include an energy efficiency toolkit with LED lightbulbs, advanced energy strips and more.  
  • Money back on EV charger installations for residents and small business customers  
  • Energy Savings Assistance Program for income-eligible customers. Provides an energy assessment along with installation of qualifying home weatherization measures.

From Southwest Gas

  • Money back on energy efficient appliances
  • Energy Savings Assistance Program for income-eligible customers. Provides an energy assessment along with installation of qualifying home weatherization measures. Qualifying income is 250% of the national poverty level.

From the Statewide TECH Incentive 

  • For single-family dwellings, enrolled contractors can earn $1,000 for any Heat Pump HVAC installation, and $3,100 or $1,000 for any HPWH installation, depending on gas or electric replacement, respectively.  

Electrify Tahoe  

  • Provides FREE assistance to local residents wanting to electrify their homes. Services include:
    • Electrification roadmap consults (1 hour visit to your home or building to help you understand your best path to electrify) 
    • Recommendations for specific equipment replacements 
    • Lending of induction cooking ranges 
    • Answering typical FAQs – “what about the grid, what about power outages, etc.”  

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are becoming a popular heating and cooling system across the U.S., including in cold climates, because they offer highly efficient heating, cooling, and air purification capabilities. The Truckee Donner Public Utility District offers up to a $4000 rebate for heat pump installations. The TECH Clean California incentive offers $1000 per outdoor unit to contractors, which may be passed onto the consumer. Click here to find a contractor near you. Peruse more available rebates here.

How do heat pumps work?

Heat pumps consist of an outdoor unit connected to one or more indoor units by a line set, which carries heat between the two. Heat pumps use electricity to move, rather than create, heat. This enables them to operate four times more efficiently than a gas furnace. Though heat pump efficiency declines as outdoor temperatures drop, they can still operate more efficiently than a furnace. A unit that is four times as efficient at 50°F may be two times as efficient at temperatures below zero. Cold climate rated heat pumps (which you will definitely want to ensure your contractor is installing) are able to provide efficient heating in cold climates even at outdoor temperatures as low as -15F

An outdoor heat pump unit at a residence in Truckee. Photo provided courtesy of Dave Donnelly

Ducted vs Ductless

Air source heat pumps can be either ducted or ductless systems, making them suited to homes and businesses with or without existing ductwork.

Ducted heat pumps operate using the same type of duct system as a central air conditioner or furnace and are often referred to as central heat pumps. These highly efficient systems work well for homes or businesses that already have ducts or where an owner is planning to install ductwork.

Ducted heat pump system

Ductless heat pumps, commonly known as mini-splits, are a great option for homes and businesses without existing ductwork or for rooms that always seem too hot or too cold. These systems can cost-effectively replace electric baseboard heating and window air conditioners, as well as displace oil or propane heating systems.

Ductless mini-split heat pump

There are four types of indoor units:

  1. Wall Units (ductless)

2) Floor Units (ductless, ideal for radiator replacements)

3) Ceiling cassettes (ductless)

4) Ducted (ideal for system with existing ductwork)

Learn more about ductless heat pumps with this video from Efficiency Maine

What are the benefits?

  • Air quality – Heat pumps purify indoor air all year, filtering out viruses and pollutants like wildfire smoke
  • Highly efficient heating and cooling – Today’s heat pumps are twice as efficient as typical air conditioners, which translates to energy cost savings. Heating costs will depend on energy fuel pricing, but heat pumps could result in energy savings for heating as well.
  • Room-by-room control – When installed with multiple indoor units, heat pumps allow for room by room temperature control.
  • Safety – since heat pumps are electrically powered, there is no risk of combustion gas leaks.

What are other considerations?

  • Supply chain delays – Though it is most cost-effective to install a heat pump at time of furnace replacement, you will not want to wait until your old furnace is already broken. Due to supply chain delays and busy contractor schedules, it is best to think ahead and plan your installation prior to furnace failure.
  • Power outages – Heat pumps run off electricity, so they will not work when the power goes out. However, most gas furnaces require electricity to operate as well, so backup power (such as batteries, woodstoves, gas or propane stoves or generators) are recommended whether you have a gas furnace or an electric heating system.
  • Cold temperature performance – Because heat pumps extract heat from outside to provide warm air inside during the heating season, they will lose efficiency as the temperature drops. A system that operates four times as efficiently as a gas furnace at 50°F may only be twice as efficient at temperatures below zero. The highest performance cold climate units can operate and provide heat even below -15 °F. Especially in Truckee, it is critical that you install a cold climate-specific heat pump.
  • Interactions with other heating systems – If you are thinking about using a heat pump along with another heating system, make sure to locate the heat pump where it won’t conflict with the other system’s thermostat. This kind of conflict could result in one system preventing the other from running. This is not a risk if you are using a heat pump as your only heating system.

Heat Pump Water Heaters

Heat pump technology is also used in water heaters. These hyper-efficient heat pump water heaters, also known as hybrid water heaters, can boast efficiencies two to four times that of a conventional gas water heater. It is important to note that Heat pump water heaters require installation in at least 1,000 cubic feet of space (12′ x 12′) that maintains a year-round temperature between 40-90 degrees. More information on heat pump water heaters.

Find a Contractor

Are you looking for a contractor to install your heat pump system or heat pump water heater? The Town does not endorse specific contractors, but below is a list of contractors licensed in California who are experienced with these sorts of installations. Let them help you reduce your energy use and increase air quality in your home!

Sierra Air Inc.
Phone: (775)800-5000
Location: Reno, NV
Services: Heat pumps, ductless mini splits, heat pump water heaters
*Certified as a Diamond Contractor through Mitsubishi

InMotion Mechanical
Phone: (530)210-2275
Location: North and West Shore Tahoe, Truckee
Services: Heat pumps, ductless mini splits, heat pump water heaters
*Booked until Fall 2022
*Certified as a Diamond Contractor through Mitsubishi

Sun Power Construction
Phone: (530) 848-4027
Location: Truckee
Services: Heat pump water heaters, solar thermal & photovoltaics

No photo description available.

Martis Valley Mechanical
Phone: (530)582-4699 / (530)386-5011
jeff@martisvalleymechanical.com
Services: Heat pumps, ductless mini splits

Don Weston Plumbing
Phone: (530)205-6880
Location: Truckee, Tahoe City, Northstar
Services: Heat pump water heaters

Brewer Refrigeration Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc.
Phone: (530)272-6351
Location: Grass Valley, but will serve Truckee area
Services: Heat pumps, ductless mini splits, heat pump water heaters

Wertheim, Inc
Phone: (530)414-4244
Location: Truckee
Services: Heat pumps
*Long service backlog, but happy to answer customer questions regarding heat pumps

You can also try searching for contractors through this Statewide tool. These contractors are experts in heat pump water heaters, space heating ,electric appliances, EV chargers, solar arrays and battery storage, and have at least 2.5 stars on yelp. This list was compiled by the Clean Energy Connection.

If you are a contractor who would like to be included on this list, please contact Sara Sherburne at ssherburne@townoftruckee.com

Contractor Resources

Efficient electric heating technology is becoming more and more popular, and cold climate heat pumps have advanced to the point where they are feasible to use in Truckee.

Are you a licensed contractor installing heat pump technology? Make sure you are taking advantage of the State rebates for doing so!

Do you want to get more comfortable with the installation of heat pump technology? Check out some of the training resources below.

The State TECH Incentive

  • For single-family dwellings, contractors can earn $3,000 for any Heat Pump HVAC installation, and $3,100 or $1,000 for any HPWH installation, depending on gas or electric replacement, respectively.
  • Click here for additional program details and here to enroll as a contractor 

Trainings / Resources

The Electrification Technical Assistance Program (hosted by Silicon Valley Clean Energy) provides extensive free technical assistance to architects, builders, developers, design engineers, contractors, and energy consultants regarding all-electric building technologies and electric vehicle infrastructure. Technical experts can provide support including recommended design approaches, design guide resources, energy model peer review, and feasibility and performance analyses. They also provide recordings of technical contractor trainings covering design, commissioning, homeowner education, and incentive opportunities, which can be accessed through their website.

Efficient Technology

The Truckee Donner Utilities District and the State of California are providing substantial rebates for residents and contractors who install efficient electric technology. Read on to learn more about the technology!

But first, why should I upgrade my building envelope?

In addition to installing efficient technology, you will also want to upgrade your building envelope to be maximally efficient. This will reduce the work that your heating system needs to do, thereby reducing your utility bills. A tight building envelope will also increase indoor air quality during wildfire season. Building envelope improvements include:

• Adding weather stripping around doors and caulk around windows.
• Adding insulation to your attic and walls.
• Properly sealing the ductwork throughout your home.
• Properly insulating the ducts in crawlspaces and attics.
• Installing and setting programmable thermostats to automatically lower the temperature at night in the cooler months and raise it in the warmer months, and adjust the temperature while you are away. Programmable thermostats can save you 10 percent annually on your energy bills.

Complete one of TDPUD or Liberty’s home energy audits to get tips on what measures will work best in your home, then take advantage of TDPUD’s rebates to weatherize your home.

Heat pumps  

Heat pumps are electric heating and cooling systems that move heat indoors in the winter and draw heat outdoors in the summer. Instead of burning fossil fuels, they are powered by electricity to move, rather than to create, heat. Since heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling, they are a good option for residents who are replacing their furnaces and who also wish to install AC. Heat pumps have a reputation for not functioning well in cold climates (a legacy of old technology); however, today’s cold climate heat pumps are up to 400% efficient, while gas furnaces are only 82% efficient. Heat pumps can provide efficient heating at outdoor temperatures as low as -15 F. There are several kinds of heat pumps and the most cost-effective option will depend upon the existing system type, which will vary home by home. Professional consultation is advised.

Though a heat pump will not function when the electricity goes out, most gas furnaces will not either. Gas furnaces require electricity to run their circuit boards, relays and blower motors. Thus, it is important to maximize your home’s building envelope and to consider a backup heating system regardless of whether you have a gas or electric heating system.

Click here to access a list of local contractors experienced with heat pump installations  

Heat pump water heaters 

Heat pump water heaters also use heat pump technology to transfer heat from one place to another, extracting heat from the air and moving it into a tank to heat water. As a result, heat pump water heaters are about 3.75 times more efficient than gas furnaces in Truckee’s climate zone, and 2-3 times more efficient than electric resistance heaters. These efficiency improvements translate to on-bill savings.  

Click here to access a list of local contractors experienced with heat pump water heater installations  

Induction Cooktops  

Induction uses electromagnets to heat pots and pans directly, so the stove will stay relatively cool even as the pot heats up. Benefits of induction stoves include zero toxins, faster cooking times, more precise temperature control, higher energy efficiency, (and thus lower utility bills) and ease of cleaning due to the flat cooktop. Induction cooktops are also safter to operate since there is no open flame and they shut off automatically once the cookware is removed. Though most pots and pans will work on induction stoves, cookware made solely of aluminum, copper, or glass will not.  

Source: canva.com

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