New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, sponsored by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU), is offering incentives to help New Jersey homeowners to reduce the cost of a home assessment. The incentives reduce cost home assessment by over 50%. If eligible, the homeowners can receive up to $1,000 of free air sealing to reduce energy costs and increase comfort. These incentives are part of new approach to the program that connects homeowners with contractors who deliver energy efficiency.

The cash back or low-interest loans are also available to help residents pay for additional energy efficiency improvements when they participate in Home Performance with ENERGY STAR.

These incentives are part of a new step-by-step approach to the program that connects homeowners with accredited contractors who deliver advanced energy efficiency.

“The cost of operating a home can become a real challenge in today’s economy,” said BPU President Jeanne M. Fox. “These new incentives will help make energy efficiency improvements more affordable and reduce energy bills for New Jersey homeowners. They also help reduce New Jersey’s overall energy use, putting us closer to the goal of a 20% reduction by 2020 as outlined in Governor Corzine’s Energy Master Plan.”

The goals of the New Jersey Energy Master Plan include reducing projected growth in energy use by 20%, decreasing peak electricity demand by 5,700 MW and meeting 30% of the state’s electricity needs from renewable sources, all by 2020.

Under the new incentive structure, customers participating in Home Performance with ENERGY STAR will receive the following services and offerings:

Visual inspection of the home and combustion appliance testing: While this simplified version of the comprehensive home assessment is valued at $300, customers will have to pay only $125 and may be reimbursed for the fee if they complete air sealing work and other energy efficiency improvements through the program. At the end of the assessment, customers will receive recommendations to make their homes more energy efficient.

Subsidized air sealing visit: If no health and safety issues are found and air sealing opportunities are identified during the home assessment, customers will be offered up to $1,000 worth of air sealing work to be completed during a second visit to the home. During this visit, contractors will use a blower door to measure air infiltration throughout the home and seal leaky areas. If health and safety issues are identified, customers can proceed with the air sealing work once those problems are corrected.

Additional energy efficiency measures: Low-interest financing or up to $5,000 cash back is available to customers who choose to install additional air sealing measures and eligible improvements such as insulation, high efficiency heating and cooling equipment and ENERGY STAR qualified appliances and lighting. Income-qualified customers may be eligible for additional incentives through Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR.