Utlities have money for you; make sure you get yours

JoelDTE Energy Co. recently announced a new program that pays you back to make your home more energy-friendly. If you are a DTE and/or Michcon customer, you are eligible for up to $1,500 in rebates directly from them just by making your home more energy-efficient. These rebates, along with the federal tax credits, could mean that you could add insulation to your walls or attic; replace your old inefficient windows and doors; seal and insulate your duct system and pipes; install programmable thermostats; and many more improvements for little or no cost at all. In order to be eligible for the full rebate, you first must have an energy audit performed at your home by a certified energy auditor. You should make sure to select an auditor who uses a blower door and infrared camera to perform an audit. Without the use of these tools, the auditor simply is guessing at a great deal of data. While it may be an educated guess, it is still just a guess. Through the use of these specialized instruments, your auditor will be able to determine where your energy leaks actually are and what can be done to improve them. All you need to do is log into www.yourenergysavings.com. Select “rebates and offers,” then scroll down and click on “home energy audit/offers,” where the full explanation is there for you to read. There also is a list of auditors to choose from. Additionally, rebates of up to $970 are available for replacing your old inefficient heating and air conditioning. These rebates are listed on the same Web site. With the cost of energy on the rise, it only makes sense to do everything you can to make your home as energy efficient as possible. With the federal tax credits and the utility company rebates, it may never be more affordable to ensure that your family does its part to conserve energy and also to keep your money where it belongs: in your wallet. Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a WJBK-TV Fox2 Detroit news contributor and president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.