Sierra Club, Baton Rouge Chapter, is holding a meeting to discuss the HERO
A Few Words on the Home Energy
Rebate Option, aka HERO
By: Nancy Grush, Baton Rouge ExCom
member and Delta Chapter Conservation Chair
Are you interested in lower energy
bills while joining the effort to create a more sustainable world? Consider the
Home Energy Rebate Option (HERO), created and run by the Louisiana Department of
Natural Resources (DNR). Isn't HERO an apropos acronym?
Through HERO, you receive a cash
rebate based on how much you improve your home's efficiency. The DNR website
does not list the maximum amount of a rebate each household can receive, but the
website does list the total number of homes that participated each year, and the
amount of money issued in those rebates. Based on the figures provided,
including my own participation in 2003, the average rebate check is $1,744.00.
Of course, this does not include the anticipated savings on energy bills.
To qualify for a cash rebate, the
improvements to your home must result in a minimum of 30% more efficiency.
The first step is to contact an
approved HERO energy rater, who can be found on the DNR website:
The rater does a preliminary rating of your home, which demonstrates how your
home ranks on a 500-point scale. The audit also shows where energy is being
lost. The initial cost of hiring a rater to audit your home's current
efficiency level ranges from $400 to $600.
The amount of the rebate is
determined by taking 20% of the lesser of: (1) the cost of the energy efficient
items/improvements, or (2) the present value of the energy saved as a result of
the improvements made to your home.
HERO is limited to existing Louisiana
homes or duplexes. No apartment complexes are eligible for this opportunity.
Another option to consider are Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEMs). EEMs are
available upon purchasing a home, or if one is considering refinancing a
mortgage to pay for energy efficiency improvements. DNR estimates that a
homeowner can realize annual savings ranging from $300 to $600.
In addition to saving money, you will
also be helping our environment. Based on DNR figures for the month of December
2008, the following savings are attributable to the HERO program: 7.4 trillion
BTUs; 1,302 kilo tons of CO2;
2,867 tons of Sox; and 1,844 tons of NOx.
If the HERO program interests
you, and you'd like to learn more about it, the Baton Rouge Sierra Club will be
hosting a meeting on Wednesday, February 25, at 7:00 p.m. at the EBR Parish
Bluebonnet Library in Baton Rouge. If you cannot attend this meeting, visit the
website as listed and/or contact Nancy Grush (firstname.lastname@example.org)
for further information.