Now is a great time to take advantage of energy-saving measures for your home or business. Learn all about all the local, state, utility, and federal incentives and rebates available to you here. If you find it confusing to know what’s available and how to take advantage, a Community Energy Challenge energy audit is a great place to start. Sustainable Connections and the Community Energy Challenge can help by assessing your building, recommending improvements, and identifying what money you can get back for efficiency upgrades.  

San Juan Island residents can take advantage of OPALCO’s rebates for heating and cooling, insulation, and appliance upgrades for both homes and businesses. These rebates can be stacked with incentives from the Community Energy Challenge, and in some cases cover up to 50% of the project cost. These can be added to federal tax credits and Inflation Reduction Act rebates.  

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has two main incentives for homeowners: tax credits and rebates.  

Get Extra Credit 

Tax credits for heating and efficiency upgrades are available now and apply to any improvements installed between 2023 and 2032. You can apply each year for new electric upgrades, insulation, air sealing, and building envelope measures like windows and doors. These credits are available to anyone regardless of income, assuming you pay taxes.  

Another tax credit can provide a 30%-of-cost credit for homeowners who install solar panels and battery storage at home. Newly built residential homes can receive a tax credit of $2500 for building to ENERGY STAR requirements. Note that one type of tax credit – Residential Energy Efficiency credits – is only for existing primary residences. Commercial buildings can also take advantage of new solar array installations with investment or production credits. 

Learn About Rebates 

IRA rebates for improvements like heat pumps, water heaters, electric upgrades, insulation, and appliances are anticipated to be available in 2024.  

  • The Homeowner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) program can give rebates for improved home performance and energy saved through efficiency measures to anyone, regardless of income. 
  • The High Efficiency Electric Home Rebate (HEEHR) program is for low- to moderate-income households and covers a portion of installation costs for electric improvements. To see income eligibility, visit the Rewiring America website.  

Residents can sign up online for the Community Energy Challenge newsletter to stay informed of the rebate programs. 

Let’s Talk Business 

There are also tax credits and deductions, rural grants, and incentives for business owners on the islands. One offers tax deductions (up to $1.88 per square foot) for energy-efficient lighting and HVAC improvements. The IRA also introduced a 30% Investment Tax Credit for solar arrays, which can be combined with USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grants. 

REAP grants provide financial incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, up to 50% of total project costs. The grant is available to building owners with in-house business operations. The Community Energy Challenge can help with the required energy audit and contractor project bid.  

The Community Energy Challenge can also provide a commercial rebate of $0.10 per kWh of electricity saved, $1.51 per gallon of propane saved, or $2.70 per gallon of fuel oils saved for qualifying projects. Incentives for energy improvements are capped at 60% of the cost of these projects when combined with utility rebates and have a maximum of $5,000 per site. If you switch appliances from fossil fuels to electricity, the incentives are increased by 20%. 

Get In Touch 

If you still have questions or want an energy audit for your home or business, visit the  Community Energy Challenge website. Our Energy Advisors will help you identify improvements for your home or business. If you’ve already received an audit but still have more efficiency projects to do, call the Community Energy Challenge at 360-676-6099 to get started.