The Alaska State Energy Rebate Program: The Grand Finale!

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!

alaska energy rebate

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24 Comments

  1. It sounds like you had an amazingly efficient year! Each time I read your blog I think moving to Alaska sounds better and better. I even mentioned it to Mr. MMM last week. Unfortunately, he’s going to need a little more convincing. I’m working on it. Congrats on all of the improvements…and the rebate 🙂

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

    • MaggieBanks

      Why thank you! Unfortunately, the program has been defunded since the government is run by oil money and that’s not doing well… but we got in right at the tail end for which we’re grateful!

  2. Wow great job guys! Definitely rewarding doing the benefits yourself. You definitely benefit from living in a rich state! Good job getting the work done in 2015, as I see them trimming back on those rebates due to the current status of oil prices.

    • MaggieBanks

      You’re right there – the program is defunded. Glad we snuck in just in time!

        • MaggieBanks

          Things are not looking good in the Alaskan economy… glad we hit the gravy train while it was still pouring! Things are going to get bleak quickly, I fear.

          • Luckily it won’t effect you guys too much since you don’t count on it to survive, you look at the benefits as a cherry on top and not the actual meal 🙂

          • MaggieBanks

            True. A lot of people are thinking income tax and a restructuring of the PFD means END OF DAYS!

  3. NICE work you guys!! All of your hard work certainly paid off, especially considering you were boosted to the $8,500 level for great insulation! You are definitely closing out 2015 with a band, and starting 2016 right with putting that reimbursement to work. I’m doing an :::efficiency dance::: for you right now! 🙂

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks for the efficiency dance! We’re definitely celebrating! And I stick to it that the best perk is having my kids be able to look out the window without getting mold under their fingertips! But we’re celebrating being cozy on this solstice when the sun won’t even come up for another hour!

  4. Hooray! You did so well. We have to replace our front door…and it’s going to cost at least $1k. But if it’s installed properly, no more water in our basement when it rains. We purchased a doozy!

    • MaggieBanks

      $1000? That must be one fancy door! We got the cheapo $199 from Lowes. 🙂 But no water in the basement is definitely worth it!

  5. Maggie — this is SO awesome. We’ve never had the right timing with rebates to make them worthwhile, but I’m glad you guys were able to take advantage of these huge benefits, and get the pride of doing it all yourselves. Right now our water company is offering us $20 to get a new dual flush toilet, which makes me laugh. And when we owned our city condo, we could have gotten all of like $50 for replacing a refrigerator. But your available rebates are for real, and totally worthwhile!

    • MaggieBanks

      Those are hilarious “incentives.” I’m thrilled we got in the program before it got defunded. My neighbor said “I hope you’re not planning to just move now that you’ve done all this.” I assured him upsizing was not part of our plan. 🙂

  6. Whoa, I cannot believe this, Maggie! That is such a small amount of money to spend on such a lot of improvements! Congratulations on getting it all done. 🙂

    • MaggieBanks

      Thank you! It was a crazy year to say the least. We’re very excited to not have a whole bunch of home projects in 2016! Should be a much more relaxing year not spending every evening rerouting gas piping or insulating!

  7. Awesome job on your rebates! Sounds like a great way to upgrade and recoup a lot of the cost. Like ONL we have marginal efficiency rebates available, so we haven’t gone that route yet. Even when replacing our AC it would’ve been us spending $4k more to get a $2k rebate, but overall an out of pocket of $9k, it didn’t make sense.
    Enjoy your cozy toasty home! Merry Christmas and happy New Years to you and your family.

    • MaggieBanks

      Thank you! We’re pretty excited about the whole program. Replacing our furnace didn’t calculate out either, so we’re sticking to ours and hoping it doesn’t die on us. 🙂

  8. seattlegirluw

    Wowza, congrats!

    We forked out $3,500 a couple of years ago to upgrade our insulation. And we finally broke down and got A/C for the in-laws in the guest house for a cool $4,000. We got about $500 in rebates for the former and zip for the latter. But at least our energy bills dropped noticeably each time.

    We still have to get double pane windows at some point, but it’s so far down on the list of priorities… I think we’ll just do one or two at a time to help ameliorate the costs. Still, it’s gonna hurt.

    • MaggieBanks

      Yeah – replacing our windows was going to cost over $5500 – so we came out great on the whole thing!

  9. Wow! All of these improvements in one post really show the crazy amount of work you put in. Awesome job! Keep us posted on the $ savings in 2016!

    • MaggieBanks

      Thanks Claudia. I do plan to track the savings… I’m a bit worried the tankless hot water heater will just lengthen my hot showers. 🙂

  10. Awesome job! I didn’t realize the extent of what all you were doing. I’m sure you’ll see a huge difference in your energy bills and it’ll be so satisfying that you did most of it yourself.

    • MaggieBanks

      It is very satisfying having done most of it ourselves. And I am so excited for this new year because it’s fresh and not all booked up with home projects we have to do before a deadline. 🙂

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