2015 was the year of the Energy-improving house updates. I’m happy to tell you that WE’RE DONE with the Alaska Energy Rebate Program! It was an exhausting year doing nearly all of the work ourselves, but we’re proud of how much work it was. The hot water heater was the biggest project, but we managed to not blow up the house while rerouting gas piping, so that’s a major bonus! The windows were an ordeal as well, but not nearly as difficult as we thought they would be. Blowing insulation into the attic was the quickest and easiest of all the projects.
The final project was to insulate the crawlspace. We had to seal each of the rim joists, insulate the walls, put insulation on the floor by the walls, and put new vapor barrier down. We also had to wrap all of the ductwork in the crawlspace. Mr. T and I spent all of our evenings for nearly two weeks crawling around under the house. I can tell you that I hope to never see our crawlspace again. Or at least not for a very long time. It wasn’t hard work, but it was time consuming. And not being able to stand up makes things a lot more difficult.
We also had to drain our hot water heater. Mr. T replaced it earlier in the year, but up until now it was draining into a bucket in the garage. He had to install a pump in the crawlspace to pump and drain the water up to the washer drain. This wasn’t super difficult. He managed in a couple of days and we were happy to finally shut the crawlspace up for awhile!
If you’ll recall, we decided to forgo replacing our furnace, which dropped us down to the $7000 reimbursement level instead of the $8500.
Here is a look at the final numbers:
- Furnace Replacement: Nope.
- Front door replacement: $289.44 – fully reimbursable.
- Attic insulation: $369.60 – $349.70 is reimbursable.
- Water heater replacement: $2592.75 – $1911.84 of this is reimbursable. And now my hot water never runs out! Even when it’s negative temperatures outside!
- Garage door install: $1042 – fully reimbursable. The only project we had to hire out.
- Bathroom Fans: $405.87 – $371.46 of this is reimbursable. And now they vent!
- Replacing the Windows: $2796.20 – $2726.13 is reimbursable. Another Costco pizza cost to bribe some help lifting the upstairs windows. (Do not underestimate the $10 Costco pizza.)
- Insulate the Crawlspace/Drain the Hot Water Heater – $1095.54 – $1080.17 is reimbursable. Other than a $15.37 set of face masks, this whole project was reimbursable.
We had the energy auditor come back out to run the energy tests again last week for the end of the program. In a surprising turn of events, she said we had sealed up the house so well that we were able to actually hit the $8500 level! Now, we didn’t have $8500 worth of reimbursable expenses, but still… other than tools and safety equipment and some Costco pizzas, we’re getting all our money back!
GRAND TOTAL: We spent $8591.40 and are getting $7770.74 as a (taxable) rebate! So, we did the whole thing for $820.66. The program involves separate reimbursements for the initial energy audit as well as the post audit. The first one cost $450 and we were reimbursed $325 and the second one cost $300 and we will be reimbursed $175, so we spent $250 out of pocket on just audits. If we add that into the calculations, we spent $8,841.40 on the whole program and spent a total of $1070.66 out of pocket. We weren’t including the audits in our goal to do all the projects for under $1000, so I think we totally win! I’m mailing all the receipts in today, so in 60ish days, we’ll be getting a big check back in the mail! I plan to use it to max out my Roth-IRA for 2015 (haven’t done that yet) and start on Mr. T’s for 2016. Our home is now much warmer and cozier and the program was totally worth the cost (since our hot water heater was leaking and our windows were moldy…). An excellent end to a year of hard work!