Governor Rendell Says Federal Recovery Act-Funded Rebates Will Make Energy-Efficient Home Heating Equipment More Affordable

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Starting in April, funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will make it possible for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians to reduce their energy consumption and save money through a new rebate program for home heating equipment, Governor Edward G. Rendell said today.

The $11 million program will provide rebates of between $100 and $500 on the purchase of new, Energy Star-rated non-electric residential hot water heaters, furnaces and boilers. The higher the equipment's efficiency rating, the larger the rebate will be.

"Last fall, the U.S. Department of Energy asked all states to develop rebate programs for items that would help residents achieve the greatest energy savings," said Governor Rendell. "Because the average Pennsylvania household spends 44 percent of its energy budget on heating and cooling, offering these rebates will provide a real and lasting benefit for consumers."

Governor Rendell added that the rebate program could benefit 33,000 Pennsylvanians and could create 120 jobs by boosting demand for heating equipment and related installation work. It could also save more than 257 trillion British thermal units of energy.

Once finalized, the rebate program's guidelines and applications will be posted on www.recovery.pa.gov.

The rebates complement existing or planned programs by Pennsylvania's electric utilities that are required under Act 129, which Governor Rendell signed in 2008 to help consumers save money through energy conservation.

"All regulated electric utility companies are now offering -- or will soon -- rebates on typical appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers," said Governor Rendell. "Because Pennsylvania has many older homes that use a variety of heating and cooling methods, offering rebates for non-electric heating equipment is another financial incentive that will ensure all Pennsylvanians will have the opportunity to upgrade their heating systems and achieve greater energy efficiency and financial savings, regardless of the type of fuel they use."

Through a competitive bid process, the Department of Environmental Protection selected Resource Solutions Group to manage the new rebate program along with its partners, Resources Development and Management Inc. of Pittsburgh and the Electric Gas Industries Association.

Resource Solutions Group is a woman-owned environmental consulting firm that specializes in helping organizations balance economic and strategic goals through awareness, action and energy sustainability, while protecting the environment. The company has managed similar energy-related rebate programs, such as the Chicagoland Natural Gas Savings Program.

Resources Development and Management Inc. operates the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County and is a leading management consulting firm for public utilities and government agencies in Pennsylvania. With 30 years of experience administering rebate programs, EGIA has implemented some of the nation's largest and most successful resource efficiency rebate programs and contractor training services.

"RSG and its partners have the expertise and the resources to put this financial incentive into the hands of energy-conscious citizens all across Pennsylvania," said Governor Rendell.

For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us and click on Energy Rebates.

To learn how federal Recovery Act funds are being invested to benefit Pennsylvania residents, businesses and communities, visit www.recovery.pa.gov.

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