Florida HVAC REBATE on Temperary Hold

September 17th, 2010

From the State of Florida, Governer Crist
ALERT: On September 14, 2010, all applications for Florida ENERGY STAR® Residential HVAC rebates are pending, contingent upon the Florida Legislature’s authorization of the use of $17.5 million in federal funds. Florida received federal approval to use the funds; however, state legislative authority is still needed.

Good Grief! Typical Government! They Can’t even get their act together to help the common Floridian people! The Governor did his job but the Legislation didn’t put in on their agenda to allocate the funds?
I’m mean COME ON! This has to stop! What is our state government doing?? I’ll tell you,
It’s a circus! We have a Circus for our Florida government, because they are all a bunch of Clowns!!

Yes, is upsetting! because I personally have put in a lot of extra work to help my customers take advantage of this rebate. and yes, this rebate helps!! It’s helps my customers, it helps our industry, it helps the environment, it saves on utilities and it helps stimulate our state economy, so it’s a good thing. The Florida Legislation just needs to do their job. I’d be glad to change jobs with them. They get to go in the attic and work to exhaustion on these hot days while I would sit back and do nothing. But you know me, I would get things rolling, because we got to move! So Fl Legislation ~ Senators and House of Representatives, MOVE IT!

For my customers it seems like they are going forth and sending in the rebate request in hopes the legislation will do their job and allocate the funds that are already there to be distributed.

If you like you can read read Governor Crist letter to the legislature Here

Florida State HVAC $1500 Rebate

September 1st, 2010

Well the Florida State HVAC $1500 Rebate took effect today. Well I should say yesterday since it has now turned past midnight.
So what does it mean? The State of Florida is finally using some of it’s federal stimulus money!
The State Government has $15,000,000 for this rebate program that equates to 10,000 homes will have high efficiency systems with less than 15% duct leakage. The HVAC Rebate is an addition to the Federal Tax Rebate but it’s a little different. The Federal Tax Rebate is based on your tax with holdings. While the Florida HVAC Rebate is a rebate that will be issued through an American Express Credit Card to the Home Owner. Some how the State must have cut a deal with American Express, not sure but hey if American Express chips in to help drive their credit cards sales up, than whatever it takes to get money to real people with real homes that need a good air conditioning system that will save them money on their utilities! Just pay your bills with the American Express then cancel the card if you choose.

This is good thing, but it won’t last long!

Home Star Program AKA: Cash for Caulkers

May 15th, 2010

The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act AKA: Cash for Caulkers,
Right now there is an up roar over this, should the government be spending more money?
Let’s just start with McKinsey Report that Cites $1.2 Trillion in Potential Savings From Energy Efficiency
You can read more of this report from the NY Times Green Blog
Many people have used the $1500 tax credit to upgrade certain energy efficient items for their homes. This is money that the consumer is saving and any savings is a good thing. Keep in mind the Tax Credit is up to $1500 off your taxable income. In many cases you wouldn’t actually receive $1500 back. Some customers did not receive anything because they didn’t have any taxable income. I myself would have only got back $418 do to my taxable income.

The Home Star Energy Retrofit act is a little different instead of a tax break it is a rebate the contractor will give a home owner then collect the rebate from the government.
I recommend anyone who is either for or against this stimulus proposition to at least read the The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act. Home Star Energy Retrofit Act House of Representatives or Home Star Energy Retrofit Act Senate
I’ve taken the time and read through the proposed act about 10 times now going line for line.
I have my concerns on a few issues, but over all if implemented correctly this act is what I have been talking about all along. You can read my previous blogs to know what my concerns and thoughts are.
Another note:
For the construction trade industry it is something that is needed. We are 25% unemployed nationally in the construction work force and I will bet Florida is worse than that. That’s one out of 4 construction tradesman out of work.

So let’s get down to the nuts and bolts and break down the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act.
This act states it would prefer to help enhance or extend state ran programs that are now in effect, but does not want to duplicate any programs that are currently ran by a state.
Rebate aggregators job positions will be created to review applications and to submit data to the Federal Rebate Processing System and then to distribute funds of the rebate.
As the Home Star Program is written today, the government will give rebates for work that has met the energy savings guide line. The discounts must be duly noted and documented and sent in to the agency for reimbursement. The qualified contractor would give the rebate up front and you the consumer would save instantly. The discounts would be for the fiscal year of 2010 and 2011. I am not sure if any work would be post dated, as it is written now it will not be post dated so units bought before the act would not qualify for a rebate.

– There is 12 home improvement categories this Home Star Program covers.
– There are 2 programs, the Silver Star and the Gold Star
– The Silver Star gives up to $3000 discounts back to the home owner and is base on single home improvements
– The Gold Star starts with a home energy audit and the Gold Star Starts at $3,000 for a 20-percent reduction in whole home energy consumption; and (2) an additional $1,000 for each additional 5 percent reduction up to the lower of $8,000; or 50 percent of the total retrofit cost. A certified 3rd party may be needed to justify the whole house reduction of energy use.

Here is the 12 improvements with the maximum discounts the amount of a rebate provided under shall be $1,000 per measure with few exceptions of greater or less than $1000 discounts for the installation of energy savings measures. I did not list every detailed requirements of all 12 items since the items mainly fall in line with the tax credit criteria.

1. Whole House Air Sealing Measures that meets BPI standards- Discounts up to $1500
2. Attic Insulation – Discounts up to $1500
– meets BPI standards or
– add at least R-19 to existing insulation to create R-38 in Zones 1-4 or R-49 in Zones 4-8
3. Duct Seal or at least 50% of duct replacement that meets BPI standards discounts up to $1000
4. Wall insulation up to full stud thickness – discounts up to $1000
5. Crawl Space or basement wall and joist insulation discounts up to $250
6. Window replacement minimum of 8 windows or 75% of all windows discounts up to $1000
7. Door Replacement discount $150 per door and up to 2 doors that qualify
8. Heating replacement furnace discounts up to $1000
– AFUE of 92 or better Boiler AFUE of 90 or greater
– Oil furnace or boiler of 89 or greater
– Wood/wood pellet furnace or boiler that meets 75% of the heat demand.
9. Air Conditioner or heat pump discounts up to $1000
meets or exceeds—
– A/C SEER 16 and EER 13;
– HP SEER 15, EER 12.5, and HSPF 8.5.
10. GEO Thermal discount up to $1000
11. Replacement of natural gas, propane or electric water heater that meet specifications
$250 each for maximum of 4 electric tankless water heaters that meet specifications
12. Storm windows $50 for each storm window with a minimum of 5 and a max of 8

Total discount Rebate $3000 or 50% of total cost of measures up to $3000

There is also wording in the act for Indian Tribes ran as state,

In the last part of the Act it talks about helping Financial institutes that will give special financing to home improvements that meet the guide lines. It also mentioned that some financial institutes may offer 0% financing. < Yea right! But any help would be appreciated but this is where the act needs to tighten up and lay down the law! I’m not for this act to give money to the financial industry when they already have their stimulus program that has not benefited the consumer yet. A good source for information on The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act you can check out this web site http://www.efficiencyfirst.org/home-star/

ClassicDave’s Blog Link Rules

May 15th, 2010

I’ll make it quick,
I get a lot of comments, that have a company web site link included.
I’m not going to post a comment with a website link to a company’s site!
Sorry, My blog is not about helping web sites that want to spam blogs!

Now if you have an article that is relevant to one of my blogs I will allow that link to your article on your site.

If you like to trade links like normal honest companies do, then please go to my resource page’s website
Classic’s Resource Link Exchange

Thank You!
ClassicDave

Paying for that A/C System

February 17th, 2010

Well time has come, the Credit Card act will take place in a few days Feb 22.
You can read a good article on this on Foxbusiness

How will this (credit slam down) affect the air conditioning market in purchases? I’m not sure, but using credit gimmicks was never one of my options for my customers! There is a reason why the government created this credit card act and that is because what looked good today would screw you over tomorrow!!
I’ve looked and reviewed credit options for over 3 years now. I thought I would just fix, repair, sell and install Air Conditioning Systems to help my customers but it’s just not about selling it’s about a long term commitment I form with my customer. With that commitment I want the best affordable way my customers can pay for their central heating and air system if they should have to borrow from a lender
So let’s break it down, Let use the $5000 Tax credit figure.

My first choice is your own bank, maybe a second mortgage or equity loan.
You may find a rate around 5% to 9% interest rate.

Another option is to look for a promotional credit card that has a fair APR after the promotion is over.
You can check for credit card rates at several places on the net ones like LowCards have good information on what the best credit cards are.
A third is a low interest rate credit card if you have great credit. A visa from Simmons Visa has 7.5% interest rate.

Then finally there is GE financing that many Air Conditioning Contractors  offer their customers. I will say it is hard to qualify, GE is a tough cookie and I just haven’t had success qualifying many of my customers through them.  Another thing GE has a finance fee on the total price. Because of this you can expect an additional $500 for a $5000 purchase. With that  you get a 7.99% interest rate for 60 months which actually pans itself out over the 5 year loan.

So Let’s break it down side by side: $5000 purchase with a 60 month equal payment method

Great Credit: Simmons Visa at 7.5% = $99.60 a month

Good low Credit Card at 12% = $111.22 a month

National Average Credit Card Rate 14.14% = $116.70 a month

GE Finance: GE  service fee of $503 we need to add to the $5000 So Financing would be a total of $5503 at 7.99% for 60 months.  = $111.55 a month

Now if you subtract your Tax credit and then monthly savings in utilities you can see real value with purchasing a new Central Heating and Air System!!

Now just to drive my original plan I had from previous blogs WHAT IF THE GOVERNMENT actually thought out  the stimulus plan?  What if there was a Credit loan Plan of 3% interest on energy savings home improvement items.  Then you would be looking around $89.84 a month on a $5000 loan!

Now some more interesting facts, if the Government would have budgeted 200 billion of the 800 billion dollars they wasted in the crummy pea brain  stimulus package, Using this 3% concept I have,  would  help 40 million homes and generate a 16 billion dollar profit! So not only  (we the consumer home owner) would have a new central heating and air system that would save monthly on our utilities and cost us $10 less a month then the lowest interest rate Nationally offered Visa Card, the Government would make 16 BILLION DOLLARS off of the interest  in that 5 years!! (Roughly $400 interest per $5000 loan)                                                                         ^^good grief!^^

Before you buy, remember to look at how you buy.

Buy and Pay Smart so you can  Save Big!

Prices may vary ~ a $5000 loan was  used to see differences.

Weatherization Idea!

October 7th, 2009

Weatherization?? Hello?!!
hmm, still waiting on some more action from the government. Right now I haven’t heard anything more! Yes, there is a good incentive to purchase energy star products that qualify for a tax credit, and yes it is up to $1500. That is good! I like it! It’s definitely needed! But here is the deal you have to spend $5,000 Dollars in order to receive all of the tax credit!! Now let’s say your air conditioning system needs to be replaced. Since I’m in this field I see this scenario every day. An Air Conditioning and Heating system breaks down every second somewhere in the USA. So there is systems that we can upgrade to save energy daily!
Ok, let’s spend a few billion for some windmills, I’m into saving power, but the wind power is going to take some time to build! We have a simple way to start saving energy and saving home income right now! Let’s think about it for a second, Saving energy in the home helps not only the power grid but the home owner! The real little guy! It will save us money right now! Right now! Yes, the individual home owner Mr. President!!
I will say that a new energy star rated HVAC system that qualifies for the tax credit will cost more than $5000 allowance. The average cost of a Tax Credited Central Air Conditioning and Heating Systems is close to $6500 to $8500. Now how many people have that amount stuffed in a shoe box? Not many! So the next option I get asked is do I finance? I tell the customer we have a financing company that customers can use being that we are a Bryant Factory Authorized Dealer.
Customer says great! Sign me up!
So we fill out the finance form and call in the application. Unfortunately the same old answer the guy before him got, Sorry client doesn’t qualify! And these are good people who have good credit. It is getting ridiculous! Lenders have dropped like flies! I mean the same lenders that we the people bailed out!! And for the FEW that qualify, it’s not really a good deal! Between an initial finance charge and then a percentage rate the customer is not saving money!! The monthly cost of the system with all the crappy finance charges to the owner now does not justify in the savings saved over the life of the system!

Anyways my point! I’m talking for the people! So Mr. President, and all you Government Elects! Listen Close because this Idea will save the country and the American people millions to billions!

We need the $1500 tax credit but we also need low interest rate loans to buy energy efficient systems!!
I suggest the government have a Energy Loan Fund for home owners. The Energy Loan fund would be set up like a SBA loan. The government would guarantee 85% of these loans so BANKS will loan the money for these improvements!! The interest rate would be a low 3% on energy tax credit items! What this would do is help the home owner get the best quality products. These top quality, high efficiency products will help save the home owner up to 56% on their Air Conditioning and Heating bills. Not only will the home owner save on the initial expense of the system they will save monthly on their utilities. The equipment that qualifies for tax credits are much better built so they will last longer too! The Energy loan fund would help the ease of payment to the home owner. Plus the banks would make 3% on the money.
If the Banks aren’t in agreement with the idea then why should we the people want to help them? If not save some of that billion dollar stimulus loan you are giving them and make it a Government funded loan. Whatever it takes!

Another benefit of this would be, it would create JOBS!!!! Right now there has been ZERO jobs created with this so called weatherization program that was so heavily promoted during the elections!! As a matter of fact I see businesses in my trade closing their doors!!

It’s time to think, This is an idea that will work!

2009 Tax Credits for Energy Efficient HVAC Equipment

February 20th, 2009

Per Letter I received stating more on the Tax credit.
Plus Update on Energy Star web site today

Energy Star Tax Credit

2009 Tax Credits for Energy Efficient HVAC Equipment
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) into law. The bill combines spending and tax incentives designed to get the American economy moving again by investing in our nation’s road and energy infrastructure, and increasing the energy efficiency and performance of America’s homes and commercial buildings.

For qualified improvements, homeowners may be able to claim tax credits equal to 30% of the installed costs (up to $1,500).

The new tax credits are retroactive to January 1, 2009, and expire on December 31, 2010. The $1,500 limit is for all improvements made during the two year term, not $1500 each year.

Homeowners may use the entire $1,500 tax credit limit on a single qualifying improvement. The previous per-appliance caps that limited the homeowner to just $150 for a high efficiency furnace or $300 for a high efficiency central air conditioner or heat pump have been removed.

Homeowners that previously claimed tax credits in 2006 or 2007 are eligible for the full $1,500 limit.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu

February 19th, 2009

Steven Chu, is the main man when it comes to energy. Dr. Chu is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist. Not a politician. I love for him and another of my favorite physicist Kaku Michio to sit down and discus science stuff and how different concepts of energy would work and not work for the American people.
Count me in on that I’d watch that on the Science Channel.

It’s my belief maybe Dr. Chu can get things done if he continues to lead with his head and heart and not by the standard political way.
I like his stance so far. I like that he is considering the national grid as a high priority.

His Energy Department also plans to move quickly to distribute money under the weatherization program to help low-income families improve the energy efficiency of their homes. The economic stimulus package provides $11 billion to the weatherization plan. Ok CBSnews.com reported 11 Billion and GreenCollarEducation.net reported 5 Billion towards weatherization. It needs to be around 11 Billion Dollars to be effective. So I’m counting on CNN’s report.

I still have some doubts about the effectiveness on the weatherization program. But when I break it down, if done correctly would be very effective.

How many people will qualify, and will the weatherization improvement companies make enough money to create new jobs?

There is a lot of factors that have to equal up. A low income family, say a family of four needs to make less than $31,800. This is not a lot of income money so it is going to cut out a lot of deserving people who make more than this that could really use some weatherization relief too.

The president, stated that the weatherization program would effect around a million homes. This would average out to be $11,000 per home. This figure would be a good estimate to weatherize a home and this should provide enough money to the weatherization companies.
In another blog post, I’ll go into why weatherization is actually one of the only relief programs that will actually make and save money. This is the concept where you spend a little to save a lot.

I am still wondering if the Energy Star Tax Relief for high efficiency equipment is part of this plan or if it a different bird all together? Right now on certain energy saving air conditioning and heating systems you can get a $300 tax relief in 09. This is a good thing too for America, I’d like to see more of a tax relief than $300
which I will explain in another blog post.

Details and Thoughts of the Weatherization Assistance Plan

February 18th, 2009

Here is a list of what may be on the plan. I am always skeptical about job creation.
How is the government agency going to find the weatherization company?
Does the home owner get a check then they seek an estimate? Does the Gov agency have their good ole boy do the job/s? These small details and basic questions haven’t been answered at this time so how can we say about 32,000 jobs will be created?
It also depends if a company can make enough money to hire. As of right now the bidding on air conditioning installation is at it’s all time low. It is one of the causes that air conditioning companies are failing. They think by dropping the price they will get the job. If they get the Job they then figure out they did not make any profit and now they owe distributors and suppliers. The distributors and suppliers are feeling the effects!
This is something I warned our local distributor about over a year ago.
This is how our industry has failed.
Cheap bids do not work. Cheap work doesn’t produce quality or efficiency.
We need to get back to a fair market price structure as a industry whole and start
planning better to make every new home meet the Energy Star tax relief guide line.
Anyways here is some figures on the Weatherization Assistance Program provide by
GreenCollarEducation.net:

• $5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, sufficient to meet President Obama’s goal of weatherizing one million homes per year while creating an estimated 32,000 jobs in the auditing and retrofitting industries;

• $4.5 billion to make 75 percent of federal buildings more energy efficient;

• $3.1 billion for the State Energy Program (SEP), which delivers important energy efficiency services and innovations in every state and has the needed infrastructure to quickly absorb the new funding and create new jobs;

• $300 million for state matching grants for rebates to consumers who purchase higher-tier energy-efficient appliances;

• $3.2 billion in State Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) that will allow state and local governments to aggressively implement energy efficiency programs;

• $400 million of the EECBG funds to be awarded on a competitive basis to encourage states to adopt stronger building energy codes and to adopt utility regulatory reform leading to rate reforms, such as decoupling, that will help their customers save energy;

• More than $8 billion for state and local government investments in public transportation.

President Obama’s Weatherization Plan,

February 16th, 2009

The Weatherization Plan has got my attention.
It’s actually been around, but to me, kind of ineffective.
Hence since no one really knew about it before this stimulus package

I have read a little on this plan, I do not know much since there isn’t much about
it only what was done last year.
I will say I will know about the weatherization package since I hope it will help
in business and possibly personal.

Hopefully in future blogs I will describe detail outlines of
President Obama’s Weatherization Plan. How it can effect a Company who participates in the plan,
will it be enough to make a company who participates in the plan grow so they can hire and create new jobs.

Second,
What does it actually take to qualify?
What will it actually do for a home owner who qualifies for the weatherization?
What paper work one must do to qualify?
Is there a cost to qualify?
How much can a home owner receive for weatherization?

I hope to find these answers out and more. Not by asking but by doing.

I have always stated in the grand market of selling,
Colorful brochures are nice, but I still like to put tools to things and prove
they are as nice as they look on glossy paper.

~Classic Dave