QUESTION AND ANSWER SECTION – Where your good questions benefit everyone.

I will post interesting questions and my answers here for now.   Please keep the questions coming!

  • On Jan 15, 2010, at 6:51 PM, wrote:
    Sir,
    it appears your work area is ny state. even so, might you explain just how energy savings and comfort benefits are achieved. also, cost/benefit analysis. planning to replace 20 year old ng forced air with central air system. 2 story 20 yr old frame residence of approx 2500 sq ft over full not finished basement. present equip is 140k btu 69% and 3.5 ton ac. ac never full comfort jul. aug. sept. located nj 20 miles se of phila. (7+) vendors no manual j– no recommendation for hp dual fuel.

    presently giving strong consideration to trane fully modulating, 16xli and fully communicating stat.

    respectfully,
    jim

    On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 8:51 PM, Tedkidd.com wrote:

    Just spent the day installing recirc loop for carrier hybrid heat customer. 3500sf, 60mbtu 3 stage and 3 ton 2 stage. 5 stages heat 2 cooling.

    House leakage 2000 cfm50. 5 zones. System ran continuously today. Extremely quiet, comfortable, and low energy bills.

    Nj has energy star program. Great deal for consumer. Comprehensive analysis nets excellent report showing lots of options. Report is somewhat operator dependent, look at bpi.org for contractors, interview for hvac AND insulation knowledge or report may dissappoint.

    How did u come across my site? Any suggestions for improvement would be greatly appreciated!
    – –
    Please pardon punctuation errors,
    sent from my iPhone.

    On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 10:02 PM, james wrote:

    thank you for reply; did have audit by certified bpi contractor from approved list. as you say, disappointing. report of no value (to me) he more interested in selling equipment with 3d party coil etc.

    Yes the program is apparently very favorable to consumer however buyer better beware.

    I came to your web site via hvac talk forum–been monitoring to become familiar with choices, how to choose what to choose before making decision on replacement equipment.

    dual fuel hp is new wrinkle. i say hmm; how can electric to run compressor be cheaper then ng to run furnace. again, thank you for your courtesy. I’ll get there.

    be blessed,
    jim

    On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 11:10 AM, Ted Kidd wrote:

    It is a problem that inexperienced or self serving contractors don’t make full use of the software for the consumer’s benefit. Often it’s educational – make them push their comfort level if you paid for the audit. If not – pay for an audit so you can hold the contractor accountable.

    In NY CSG is the program coordinator. Honeywell is the “police”. Either of these groups should be of assistance to the contractor and/or you in getting a more comprehensive report. TREAT has so many additional report options you should be able to get the cost benefit one now you know to ask. Don’t give up. My customers would tell you the results are SO worth it!

    Electric to run a compressor is cheaper based upon COP, which is based upon outdoor temperature. COP generally starts at 4, meaning you get 4x the heat of electric resistance. COP Drops as it gets colder. Natural Gas is not 1/4 the cost of straight electric. Another benefit is the additional stages. Another benefit is the equipment runs spring and fall rather than sitting dormant. Around hear central AC might get little use.

    Incremental cost of Heat Pump over AC is small relative to benefit, even on Natural Gas. If it weren’t would I have sold them to my Mother and 2 best friends?

    Please let me know what steps you take. ~T

  • On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 9:16 AM, Dave wrote:

    I have a couple questions about energy incentives.

    I’m retired with a pension and withdrawals from an IRA. Total may be around 50 – 60 K. What counts as “income” towards the incentive cutoff amounts?

    I wanted to replace windows and old freezer this year if I can find enough help.

    Thanks, Dave

    On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 11:15 AM, Ted Kidd wrote:

    Dave,

    Thanks for your question! You are my very first local web-site inquiry! I’ve only got a sec so this will be short.

    I don’t believe you will qualify for more than the 10%. Still a nice deal. A lot of consumer protection I’ve seen nowhere else.

    Fridge will qualify.

    If you want to send me your phone number I’ll gladly call and discuss this with you.

    ~Ted

  • On Jan 16, 2010, at 1:03 PM, Jane wrote:

    Is there a tax credit given for siding one’s home?

    On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 1:35 PM, Tedkidd.com wrote:

    Hi Jane, as with most thing the answer is “it depends”. Incentives ()10%) and tax credits are tied pretty tightly to energy reduction measures.

    Short answer: If you are just going to side, probably no.

    If you are looking to reduce your energy use and improve comfort, probably yes.

    ~Ted

    Please pardon punctuation errors, sent from my iPhone.

  • On Jan 17, 2010, at 10:05 AM, Charlie wrote:

    > My wife, Beth, and I closed on a 105 year old duplex on Nov. 18, 2009. The house is fully occupied under lease. We will move into one of the apatrments at the end of April 2010 when the first lease is up. Presently we have had new furnaces (Goodman 92.1% Multi-speed Gas & 95% Variable speed Gas) installed in each unit through REPUTABLE CONTRACTOR Corporation. The Airconditioning units are in a storage shed and will be installed when we’ve moved in. The gas and electric bills are paid by the tenants. We will be paying over $13,000 to energy-star equipment. What incentives are we entitled to? Where do the incentives come from? Should we wait until we move in to apply for the incentives?
    > Thank you,
    > Charlie

    On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 11:49 AM, Tedkidd.com wrote:

    Dear Charlie:

    You probably qualify for the 30%/$1500 tax credit on that nice furnace you installed.

    If you go through home performance with energy star you may qualify for incentives of up to 50% of up to $20,000 worth of work for your duplex. If you have good credit you may also be eligible for unsecured loan on the rest with a bought down rate of 5.99% over 10 years.

    The program requires testing and computer modeling house and playing “what if” to determine cost effectiveness of various options (think x-Ray and MRI). Having a cost benefit report is a very helpful decision making tool for making improvement decisions.

    The HPwES program is about taking a comprehensive look at the house first, carefilly weighing options, then going ahead with improvements. It’s not about guessing, spending money, and hoping for a positive result.

    The furnace and one way heat pumps are eligible for incentive when process is followed. Job approval is required before moving forward with work.

    The work you have already done is ineligible. Think of it this way; Albany is sending you money to 1) understand what energy saving opportunities exist in your home and 2) make sure whatever opportunities you decide to address are addressed properly.

    For example: If your new furnaces are improperly sized or installed that can dramatically effect comfort and energy use over the life of the appliance.

    ————————————————–
    NO AUTHORITY OVER NON-PROGRAM CONTRACTORS
    When improvements are not installed through the program, HPwES has no authority to require they be replaced or fixed if done wrong. They pay these incentives so they can control quality and effectiveness. It is really an elegantly designed program that provides huge consumer protection. ————————————————–

    If you go through the process you will know what other opportunities exist, and if your furnaces and one way heat pumps were sized and installed properly. If those pumps are single stage, getting size right IS REALLY IMPORTANT for comfort as well as efficiency.

    I would be happy to do a free energy review for you. Ted

    – –
    Please pardon punctuation errors, sent from my iPhone.

  • On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 8:45 PM, Tom wrote:

    do any of these programs include roof & window replacements ? i have a 2 family rental that needs a new roof & the home i live in needs new windows . thank you for your reply.

    On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 9:50 PM, Ted Kidd wrote:

    Tom,

    A portion of the roof work can be covered if you insulate at the same time. One of the greatest missed opportunities occurs when a roof is replaced and insulation is not addressed. Access and ability to spot and fix attic problem areas will never be greater.

    See my essay’s for more on energy concepts and missed opportunities.

    Do you need new windows or want new windows? Some people want new windows and say they need them. Some people mistakenly think windows are the big energy problem in their homes and conclude they need new windows.

    Windows are incentivized through the program but tend not to save very much energy. Typical payback on window replacement is about 30 years. Energy modeling of your home will tell how important replacing your windows is from an energy $avings perspective.

    Thanks for the question. Let me know if you would like my help.
    ~Ted

  • On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 1:39 PM, Gail wrote:

    How do I get forms to apply for Assistance with cost of new furnace and AC. We are 2 senior citizens with health issues and live in co-op Mobile Home Park. I understand our type of home is covered by some of these programs available.
    We have these serviced by Isaak Heating and AC every year, this past fall the service man said we should replace our furnace this coming summer before the next heating season.
    Would like to know what the qualifications are to receive any benefits or at least a break in cost of replacing these units. Ron has COPD and other health issues and needs the AC as well as heat for the winter months. We co-own our mobile home and are on fixed incomes being over 65 yrs of age.
    I couldn’t understand what I needed to do when I checked out the NYSERDA site. Can anyone help this Old Dummy.
    Thank you.
    Gail

    Dear Gail,

    I think you are making a wise decision to explore you options before your furnace dies.

    If your home is not on a solid foundation and you own the property, I don’t believe there is a program via Home Performance with Energy Star. The RG&E incentive ends soon but may come back, and the Federal Tax Credit may be of no benefit if you don’t pay Federal Taxes.

    That said, there are programs through weatherization, office of the aging, and Bishop Shehan. I’m sorry I don’t have any contacts at these organizations. In some cases the help they offer requires a “no-heat” situation, so you may have to wait for it to die. But have the contact information ready.

    Please let me know what you find out and we can post it to help others.

    Ted

  • On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 1:39 PM, Gail wrote:

    How do I get forms to apply for Assistance with cost of new furnace and AC. We are 2 senior citizens with health issues and live in co-op Mobile Home Park. I understand our type of home is covered by some of these programs available.
    We have these serviced by Isaak Heating and AC every year, this past fall the service man said we should replace our furnace this coming summer before the next heating season.
    Would like to know what the qualifications are to receive any benefits or at least a break in cost of replacing these units. Ron has COPD and other health issues and needs the AC as well as heat for the winter months. We co-own our mobile home and are on fixed incomes being over 65 yrs of age.
    I couldn’t understand what I needed to do when I checked out the NYSERDA site. Can anyone help this Old Dummy.
    Thank you.
    Gail

    Dear Gail,

    I think you are making a wise decision to explore you options before your furnace dies.

    If your home is not on a solid foundation and you own the property, I don’t believe there is a program via Home Performance with Energy Star. The RG&E incentive ends soon but may come back, and the Federal Tax Credit may be of no benefit if you don’t pay Federal Taxes.

    That said, there are programs through weatherization, office of the aging, and Bishop Shehan. I’m sorry I don’t have any contacts at these organizations. In some cases the help they offer requires a “no-heat” situation, so you may have to wait for it to die. But have the contact information ready.

    Please let me know what you find out and we can post it to help others.

    Ted

  • On Jan 17, 2010, at 10:05 AM, Charlie wrote:

    > My wife, Beth, and I closed on a 105 year old duplex on Nov. 18, 2009. The house is fully occupied under lease. We will move into one of the apatrments at the end of April 2010 when the first lease is up. Presently we have had new furnaces (Goodman 92.1% Multi-speed Gas & 95% Variable speed Gas) installed in each unit through REPUTABLE CONTRACTOR Corporation. The Airconditioning units are in a storage shed and will be installed when we’ve moved in. The gas and electric bills are paid by the tenants. We will be paying over $13,000 to energy-star equipment. What incentives are we entitled to? Where do the incentives come from? Should we wait until we move in to apply for the incentives?
    > Thank you,
    > Charlie

    On Sun, Jan 17, 2010 at 11:49 AM, Tedkidd.com wrote:

    Dear Charlie:

    You probably qualify for the 30%/$1500 tax credit on that nice furnace you installed.

    If you go through home performance with energy star you may qualify for incentives of up to 50% of up to $20,000 worth of work for your duplex. If you have good credit you may also be eligible for unsecured loan on the rest with a bought down rate of 5.99% over 10 years.

    The program requires testing and computer modeling house and playing “what if” to determine cost effectiveness of various options (think x-Ray and MRI). Having a cost benefit report is a very helpful decision making tool for making improvement decisions.

    The HPwES program is about taking a comprehensive look at the house first, carefilly weighing options, then going ahead with improvements. It’s not about guessing, spending money, and hoping for a positive result.

    The furnace and one way heat pumps are eligible for incentive when process is followed. Job approval is required before moving forward with work.

    The work you have already done is ineligible. Think of it this way; Albany is sending you money to 1) understand what energy saving opportunities exist in your home and 2) make sure whatever opportunities you decide to address are addressed properly.

    For example: If your new furnaces are improperly sized or installed that can dramatically effect comfort and energy use over the life of the appliance.

    ————————————————–
    NO AUTHORITY OVER NON-PROGRAM CONTRACTORS
    When improvements are not installed through the program, HPwES has no authority to require they be replaced or fixed if done wrong. They pay these incentives so they can control quality and effectiveness. It is really an elegantly designed program that provides huge consumer protection. ————————————————–

    If you go through the process you will know what other opportunities exist, and if your furnaces and one way heat pumps were sized and installed properly. If those pumps are single stage, getting size right IS REALLY IMPORTANT for comfort as well as efficiency.

    I would be happy to do a free energy review for you. Ted

    – –
    Please pardon punctuation errors, sent from my iPhone.

  • Amy

    On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 1:39 PM, Gail wrote:

    How do I get forms to apply for Assistance with cost of new furnace and AC. We are 2 senior citizens with health issues and live in co-op Mobile Home Park. I understand our type of home is covered by some of these programs available.
    We have these serviced by Isaak Heating and AC every year, this past fall the service man said we should replace our furnace this coming summer before the next heating season.
    Would like to know what the qualifications are to receive any benefits or at least a break in cost of replacing these units. Ron has COPD and other health issues and needs the AC as well as heat for the winter months. We co-own our mobile home and are on fixed incomes being over 65 yrs of age.
    I couldn’t understand what I needed to do when I checked out the NYSERDA site. Can anyone help this Old Dummy.
    Thank you.
    Gail

    Dear Gail,

    I think you are making a wise decision to explore you options before your furnace dies.

    If your home is not on a solid foundation and you own the property, I don’t believe there is a program via Home Performance with Energy Star. The RG&E incentive ends soon but may come back, and the Federal Tax Credit may be of no benefit if you don’t pay Federal Taxes.

    That said, there are programs through weatherization, office of the aging, and Bishop Shehan. I’m sorry I don’t have any contacts at these organizations. In some cases the help they offer requires a “no-heat” situation, so you may have to wait for it to die. But have the contact information ready.

    Please let me know what you find out and we can post it to help others.

    Ted