No matter what kind of properties you have in your portfolio, or if you want to fix up your own home, I have a valuable tip for you (or your tenants) to stay comfortable and save money, and it’s specific to where you live. It’s the website of your utility provider, which is the company that provides gas or electricity to your properties. First, I’ll tell you where to find it, then we’ll see all the benefits you can enjoy from exploring what’s offered.
You should be able to find your utility provider’s website either from your monthly bill or by doing a quick online search. If you can’t remember its name, then you can look on your city’s website, and it typically will have a list of the gas and electric companies that serve the city.
Now that you have located the website, here are the resources and information that will help you. Of course, each provider’s website is a little different, but most will have these features. First is a listing of rebates and incentives that are currently available. You can potentially get money back for upgrades to your home’s energy efficiency, for energy audits, appliances, heaters, air conditioners, insulation, lighting, and more.
Here are two important things to keep in mind about these. First, some of the promotions, especially energy audits, often require that you register first before you do any work or make any purchases. If you don’t, you will likely be disqualified.
That happened to one of my students. Before he purchased my course, he had energy upgrade work done to his home, including a new furnace, insulation, and windows. He found out that he could have received substantial rebates by applying beforehand, but it was too late once the work was completed. The upside is that, going forward, he’ll know how to take advantage of available grants and rebates.
The second point to make is that utility companies usually have different promotions at different times of the year, so if you’re thinking about upgrades, but they’re not urgent, then sometimes waiting a bit can pay off. You might also try contacting your utility provider and asking someone what’s coming up in the future. They may or may not tell you, but it can’t hurt to ask.
Aside from rebates and promotions, you can also find helpful tips on saving energy in your home and rental properties. Some utility companies will even help you save by offering free or low-cost energy-saving lightbulbs or low-flow showerheads, which reduce water heating costs. So if you’re a landlord, you can put money-saving upgrades into your properties and also educate your tenants on what they can do to help keep costs down.
You can also find information on most utility companies’ websites about solar energy for your home, and information on whether you can participate in what’s called net metering, which is selling your excess solar-produced energy back to the electric company. It could potentially be another revenue stream for you, to help your overall profitability.
The next thing to mention that you can find on your utility provider’s website is information on financing for high-cost equipment, such as heat pumps, central air conditioning, solar power equipment, and more. You can often get zero-interest or low-interest loans for this, and have your payments rolled in to your monthly gas or electric bill. If you’re replacing worn-out, inefficient equipment, your loan payments may even be less than what you were previously spending for wasted energy. The value and comfort of the home will increase. You may also structure it so that it’s most advantageous for your yearly tax deductions.
The last thing I want to mention applies to both your tenants and for homeowners. If your income qualifies, you may be able to get help paying your energy bill. You’ll find all the details on your utility provider’s website, including income thresholds for your area and how much funding you could potentially receive.
So you can see that a few minutes spent exploring your gas or electric company’s website can help you discover many ways to get funding and save money. Take a look, and just might strike gold!