CEO’s Report: Powering Forward in the new year

With the start of a new year comes resolutions to make improvements in our lives.

While electrification may not be on everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions list, it is on ours.

As we head into 2023, Heartland Energy is making some changes to our Power Forward rebate program.

While we will still be offering rebates to improve efficiencies in consumers’ homes or businesses, we will also be offering rebates to encourage further use of electricity.

 

Changes ahead

We started Power Forward with the intent of helping consumers more efficiently utilize electricity. We kicked the program off with contests for home and building makeovers and evolved to rebates for upgrading lighting and appliances to more efficient models.

While we still believe in using energy efficiently, great strides have been made both in how these items use electricity and their price points.

For example, when LEDs were first introduced, the associated energy savings typically didn’t offset their high purchase price. Today, LEDs have drastically reduced in price and are commonplace in every home improvement store as incandescent bulbs continue to be phased out. LEDs are now considered the norm when purchasing lighting.

Therefore, we will be eliminating our residential LED lighting rebate. However, we are keeping our commercial lighting rebate in place. As businesses continue to make the switch to LED, we hope our rebate program will offset some of the upfront costs, helping to make the transition a little easier.

 

EV charger rebate available

Heartland Energy is now offering a $500 rebate to consumers for installing a Level 2 Electric Vehicle (EV) charger at their home or business.

EVs continue to grow in popularity and offer many benefits. They are less expensive to operate, don’t emit pollutants and are typically easier to maintain.

The majority of EV owners charge their vehicles at home, overnight. While EVs typically come with a cord to plug the vehicle into a standard 120-volt outlet, charging typically occurs at a rate of 5 miles of range per 1 hour of charging.

Our rebate will help EV owners install a Level 2 charger to efficiently charge their vehicle at a rate of up to 25 miles of range per 1 hour of charging.

Level 2 chargers require a 240-volt plug and requires installation of specific equipment by a qualified electrician.

In addition, if a consumer already owns an EV and currently owns a Level 2 charger, they may be eligible instead for a $50 rebate for simply completing a survey to provide information about their charging habits.

The idea of the survey is to help utilities and Heartland Energy better understand how many chargers are currently being used in customer communities as well as how much and when. We will make an effort to promote the survey within our customer communities and will be asking for your help in sharing the survey on social media and other means of your choosing.

 

heat pump iconHeat Pump rebate

While we previously offered rebates for purchasing efficient heating and cooling equipment, we will now simply be offering a heat pump rebate. We will no longer offer a rebate for central air conditioners.

However, we are bumping our air source heat pump rebate to $600 for ENERGY STAR rated models. We will bump the rebate amount to $1,200 if the backup furnace or boiler is also electric.

Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners for all climates. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the outdoors into your warm house.  During the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your house into the outdoors. Because they transfer heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can efficiently provide comfortable temperatures for your home.

Air-source heat pumps have been around for a while but were not typically used in extremely cold climates. However, in recent years, technology has advanced so that it now offers a legitimate space heating alternative in colder regions.

We are also increasing the geothermal heat pump rebate to $1,200.

Geothermal (ground-source or water-source) heat pumps achieve higher efficiencies by transferring heat between your house and the ground or a nearby water source. Although they cost more to install, geothermal heat pumps have low operating costs because they take advantage of relatively constant ground or water temperatures.

 

Other rebates still available

Heartland Energy will continue to provide other rebates under our Power Forward program including those for purchasing electric water heaters with a lifetime warranty and select commercial refrigeration equipment.

We will also continue offering grants to our customers under the Power Forward program. In addition to projects that improve efficiencies at city facilities, we will also consider projects that promote the use of electricity at your utility or in your community.

If you have any questions about the changes to the Power Forward program, please contact Ann Hyland at 605-256-6536.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year!