Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Got National Grid Gas? Get Insulated!

National Grid in MA and NH (I think RI too) are giving customers 75% of the cost of insulation (including installation) until 12/01/09 (up to $2,000)!  Click HERE for details.  Furthermore, the Federal Government will give you 30% back on the cost of insulation through a tax credit.  This is good until 12/31/10.  Click HERE for details. 

So here's me like 2 months ago.  I thought "Oh this is great, we have gas to our house, but we don't have gas heat!  We'll get the insulation done to get this awesome rebate."  I got one quote and then was informed that the gas company categorizes your bill so they know if you are a residential heat customer.  The contractor was right - I looked on my bill and I was R-3 (Residential NON-heat).  You have to be a R-1 (Residential heat) to qualify.  Duh!   But here.  Let me tell you how you can bank:

Our house is 1600 sq ft.  Our attic is already completely insulated, but our walls are not.  So we wanted blown-in insulation.  Our ceilings are pretty high (8 1/2 ft, I think but could be 9 ft).  So our quote for blow-in insulation?  $2,300.

Total:  $2,300
75% National Grid Rebate:  $1725
Actual Total OOP:  $575

But wait - there is a 30% Federal Tax Credit program.  The government will give you 30% of the cost of the actual insulation (not the labor for the insulation).  After we got informed of our attempted fraud, my husband did some quick measurements and checked out the insulation at Lowe's.  He figured that we'd need between $500 and $600 worth of blown-in insulation.  We might do it ourselves.  We aren't sure yet.  So let's say it costs $550 for the insulation.

Approximate cost for the insulation (the contractor will actually break this down for you for your taxes):  $550
30% Tax Credit:  $165

Minus the $165 from the $575 I would have paid after rebate:  $410 to insulate my house (if I were a gas heat customer and took advantage of the National Grid rebate and Federal government program). 

Now...is it worth it?  They say insulation saves you 25% off your heating and cooling bill.  I got the following figures from THIS ARTICLE from The Boston Globe:

The average yearly heating bill for gas customers - $1,593 - 25% Yearly Savings would be $398.25 a year
The average yearly heating bill for oil customers - $2,345 - 25% Yearly Savings would be $586.25 a year

Personally I think these figures are way off.  We are oil customers and there is no way we spend $2,300 a year.  Maybe $1,500 tops.  But my husband says he's always cold...I like it though. 

So here's the deal.  If we were indeed gas heat customers, this would be very worth it to us.  We'd recoop the cost in just a year or two.  Considering we're planning on staying here until we're dead, that's about 50+ years of heating cost savings.  We'd recoup the cost in less than 2 years.   
If you live in MA (or NH & RI), and are National Grid gas heat customers, you might want to look into this program.  All the details are on the website - or you can call their number to talk to someone.  Sure, you have to up front the costs, but you get them back. The National Grid rebate is only good until 12/01/09 (so act fast).  Remember too, all contractors and houses and types of insulation are different.  I just showed my example for blown-in (R-19) insulation for our home. 


maryanne said...

The gas numbers actually look about right to me, especially when you consider the number of people using outdated equipment. We replaced our boiler this summer, and while it cost a fortune because we wound up having to switch to a whole new heating system I was pretty amazed to see how much our gas bill dropped. Our bill has been at least 1/3 of what it was last year, and we're heating the entire house this year as opposed to about 2/3 of the house last year. Not the sort of thing that will pay for itself in one or two years, but it should within a decade and we do expect to stay where we are for that long at least...

Momma and Her Doodle said...

I have to say THANK YOU, insulation of our attic is one of our top priorities to get done before winter hits and I did not know about this. I have gas heat... GOSH BECKY, I could HUG you!

You rock:)


Bargain Becky said...

You are probably right Maryanne (as well as the "experts!")! We lucked out and the previous owners got new windows and a new boiler a year before they sold our house...seems silly to convert to gas when our boiler is practically brand new.

Thanks Stacy...doesn't the deal seem too good to be true? That site as a spreadsheet of contractors who are approved to do the insulation. The ones I called to get estimates from all seemed very nice. I called a few in Abington, Braintree and a really nice man in Dorchester. This deal is really too good to pass up if you have gas heat!