Rebates to help the environment, lower bills

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The state of Michigan is pushing toward energy efficiency, so much so they are offering rebates. Marquette's Board of Light and Power said that the incentives are to spur energy savings through the replacement of inefficient equipment. The state is offering more than 30 rebates for homeowners and even more for commercial and industrial use.

"Those programs are in place to save energy statewide," said Kevin Downs, the Meter Department Supervisor for the Board of Light and Power. "We weren’t sure how it was going to work years and years ago when we first started participating, but now we get monthly reports and the savings statewide are huge."

According to michigan-energy.org, by purchasing an Energy Star refrigerator, the mail insensitive can be up to $200. However, Home Energy Services said the continued use of the old refrigerator can be counter-intuitive to a consumer’s energy bill.

"What I see a lot is that people buy that new Energy Star refrigerators, they get the rebate on it and what do they do? They take the old one and they re-service it and put it out in the garage as a beer fridge," said Gary Horwood, the owner of Home Energy Services. "That is the worst thing you can do. It can cost 3-4 times that amount to run it outside than it did in the house."

Home Energy Services (HES) said there are refrigerators specifically made for a garage that can be easily purchased. According to michigan-energy.org there are appliance recycling programs that an individual can schedule when they do purchase an Energy Star appliance.

BLP saw a direct correlation with these the energy saving appliances and the Marquette area.

"The less energy year-to-year that we know we need to produce, the less coal currently we need to put into the coil fired boilers, so you will have an immediate impact on the environment and on the local environment as well," said Downs. "We are in the business to make and sell electricity, but concerned with conserving our natural resources on the way as well.”

For the full list of rebates, incentives and appliance recycling programs, click here.