Participating in the Home Performance
with Energy Star Program
This program is available to Columbia Water & Light residential electric customers who are remodeling their homes to be more energy efficient. Once you have made the energy efficiency improvements, you could qualify for Federal tax credits, a Home Performance Loan and Columbia Water & Light rebates.
Watch a Home Performance video feature online about the improvements made to a newer home in Columbia.
Step 1: Home Performance Assessment
In order to learn about your home and what needs to be done to improve its efficiency, a series of inspections and diagnostic tests, known as a Home Performance Assessment, need to be conducted by a Home Performance Contractor.
- You must choose a Columbia Water & Light approved contractor. A Home Performance Contractor is a private contractor who will charge a fee for his services. The assessment can cost from $250 to $400. Download the list of Home Performance Contractors in our area.
- Make an appointment for the Home Performance assessment after the fee has been agreed on. The Home Performance assessment usually takes about four hours.
- Advise the contractor of any issues or concerns you have about your home, such as drafts, cold or hot rooms, discomfort, evidence of moisture or mold, strange smells, or even physical symptoms, such as persistent headaches.
Home Performance assessment’s components are:
- A visual inspection of the home’s condition, including in the attic and basement or crawl space.
- A blower door will be used to measure the leakiness of your home and locate the sources of those leaks.
- A duct blaster may be used to measure how much your ducts leak, if they are located in an unconditioned space.
- Essential health and safety tests will be performed to determine whether major combustion appliances (furnace, water heater, gas dryer, gas fireplace, etc.) are operating safely and are not likely to backdraft carbon monoxide or other combustible products into your home.
After the assessment is completed, your contractor will explain the recommended energy efficiency improvements. You should also be provided a rough estimate of associated costs, expected benefits, and cost savings of the recommended improvements.
Step 2: Costs of the improvements
Once your Home Performance assessment is completed, you will need to gather bids for the recommended improvements.
- Columbia Water & Light suggests that you use one of our certified contractors for your Home Performance projects so the work is completed within the parameters of the program.
- When gathering bids, make sure each bid is in writing and explains what will be completed and how long the project will take.
- Ask the contractor for recommendations. Remember, the lowest bid may not provide the best product or service.
Step 3: Rebates & Financing
Columbia Water & Light is offering qualified electric customers rebates up to $1,200 for home improvements and up to $1,600 for high-efficiency air conditioners or heat pumps. Rebates will be finalized after the final verification.
The Home Performance Loan program will help electric customers finance efficiency upgrades that are suggested during a Home Performance evaluation. The interest rate on the loans is from 1% to 5% depending on the length of the loan. There is a $15,000 cap for the Home Performance Loan program. You must submit a loan application along with copies of all the bids. The application process will take about two weeks, and needs to be approved before any work is started on your home. Please see our Home Performance Loan information for more details.
Step 4: Completing the work
As soon as your financing is secure, you can instruct the contractors working on your home to begin. It’s a good idea to meet with the contractors at the beginning of each day to review work that’s been completed and what will be done that day. Once all the work is completed, your Home Performance Contractor will conduct the post-assessment to certify the home.
Make copies of all the invoices and call Columbia Water & Light (573-874-7325) to set up an appointment for the final verification. At this appointment, our staff member will collect all the copies of the invoices. Your rebate application will be completed at this meeting and turned in for processing.
If you are approved for a loan, you will be contacted two weeks after the final inspection to arrange an appointment for the loan signing paperwork. Rebate checks will either be mailed or given to you at your loan appointment.
Download the Columbia Water & Light Home Performance with Energy Star policies