While the climate in Northern California is cooler than that of Southern California, summers can still be incredibly hot. You’ll even occasionally find some cold and snowy winters that make an HVAC system essential for your family’s comfort. Thanks to some of the state’s new rebates, you can get money back and save on your taxes when you install a new system. Find out more about the available rebates in California and the benefits they have.
One of the most common rebates you can get as a homeowner in California comes from your utility company. Sacramento offers a rebate for those who buy and install a heating and cooling system that gives them up to $3,000 back. Other cities have similar programs that award buyers $50 or more.
With utility rebates, you need to contact your provider and see what programs are available. You usually need to buy a new HVAC system and hire a licensed contractor or company to perform an installation. The provider will ask for proof of both the system and its installation. You then get your rebate in the form of a check. This gives you money that you can use to pay off your HVAC loan.
The Inflation Regulation Act started by the federal government provided funds to states as a way to help them fight rising costs. California has two programs that offer HVAC rebates. The first is the Homeowner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) Rebate Program, which has nearly $300 in available funds. You get up to $8,000 back based on the value of your home and the HVAC system you choose.
Through the HOMES Rebate Program, you get money to pay for retrofitting your home. Instead of using gas and electric power, you ensure that your home runs on just electricity. The state will look at your annual income and how much retrofitting will help you save on energy bills to determine your rebate.
With the High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Program (HEEHRA), you qualify for rebates when you install more efficient products and appliances. It is income-based, which means that it is only open to homeowners with annual incomes of no more than 150% of the region’s average. You can also apply for this program if you buy efficient products for apartment buildings or other dwellings you own that hold two or more families. It allows you to earn up to $14,000 back. You can get cash for adding a new HVAC system as long as it has an Energy Star Rating.
The biggest benefit of the HEEHRA program is that it can cover the total cost of your HVAC system and its installation. While it does have a maximum payout amount, you get 100% back if you have a smaller income. If you make more than 150% of the area’s average income, you can still get enough cash to pay for half of your installation costs.
California also offers product rebates. Visit the Golden State Rebates website to see what you need to do to qualify. There are often offers for HVAC products and items that work with that system like a thermostat. Create an account and enter some information to see where you can buy those products in your area. The site also lets you confirm that you’re eligible for a rebate. As long as you buy one of these items from an approved retailer, you will get a small amount of money back.
Federal Tax Credits
Installing an efficient HVAC system in your California home also makes you eligible for tax credits from the federal government. While this program only applies to Energy Star-rated products, there are many that you can choose from:
- Central air conditioners
- Fuel stoves
- Air source heat pumps
The credit you get depends on what you buy. Gas furnaces qualify for a $150 credit. You’ll get $300 if you buy and install a heat pump or a central air conditioner. The government will not let you apply for the credit until you install the item(s). You can claim up to 30% of the cost when you file your taxes for a maximum of $300.
Tax credits are not the same as deductions. Deductions allow you to deduct the total amount of income you made in the previous year. This in turn lowers the amount of money you pay taxes on when you file. With a tax credit, the government will take this amount off the total you owe. If you owe the IRS $1,200 next year and use this credit, it reduces your liability to just $900. On the other hand, it can also act as a rebate and give you money back. If you get a tax refund of $500 and qualify for the federal tax credit, your final rebate will total $800.
You’ll find other rebate programs that come straight from a contractor or company like PG&E. As long as you confirm that you’ll remain in your home for at least two years and you didn’t get another rebate in the last 12 months, you qualify. PG&E offers this program for those who live in single-family homes.
The Bay Area Regional Network offers a handful of rebate programs, too. One gives you up to $1,000 back when you buy an air-source heat pump. If you buy a central AC system, you get an $800 check. Switch to a split AC system to get a rebate of $1,000. You get the same amount when you install a ductless AC or heat pump.
Consider manufacturer rebates as well. Manufacturer rebates come from the brands that sell HVAC equipment in California. Lennox offers many different systems and items such as heat pumps, air conditioners, and furnaces. This brand often offers rebates of up to $1,000.
Benefits of California HVAC Rebates
California HVAC rebates come from manufacturers, utility providers, and state and federal programs. No matter which one you choose, you can take advantage of some strong benefits:
- Save on the cost of a new heating and cooling system or equipment
- Get products that lower your energy costs every month
- Make your home feel more comfortable on hot and cold days
- Upgrade your system without spending as much money
- Reduce the amount you owe to the IRS or increase your refund
These programs help you get your money in one of two ways. Some programs let you enter your routing and account numbers. Once you confirm your details, the funds will appear in your bank account. Other rebates are available in a check made out to you, which you can deposit in the bank. It can take weeks and even months for the program to process your rebate and release the money.
Make Your California Home More Efficient
Making your home more efficient is easy when you upgrade your HVAC system. You get the durable furnace you need to feel warm on cold days and an AC that helps you beat the heat. Why pay full price for one of these systems when there are so many rebate offers available? Reach out to Environmental Heating & Air Solutions to get help choosing an HVAC system that helps you qualify for the best rebates.