WISE promotion deadline extended

Dec. 22, 2012 @ 12:44 PM

A promotion by the Chapel Hill WISE program to secure commitments for energy upgrade projects from 100 homeowners in 100 days has been extended until Jan. 31.
The promotion, which started in late September, was originally scheduled to end Jan. 1, but was extended to give more homeowners a chance to consider taking advantage of the program without having to make such a big decision over the Christmas holidays.
“We understand that the holidays can be stressful enough without starting an energy upgrade project, so we hope the extension will give more homeowners the opportunity to take advantage of the program,” said John Richardson, the town’s sustainability officer.
Under the promotion, homeowners are eligible for up to $2,000 toward the cost of home improvements that are designed to save energy and reduce utility bills.
The promotion also covers a $350 home energy assessment for residents who take the next step to have the energy upgrades and improvement done before the program ends next May.
Mark Kuykendall, the WISE program manager, said the program has received nearly 75 new applications since the promotion was announced.
“Assuming all of those applicants commit to moving forward, we will have 25 slots left,” Kuykendall said.
Typical WISE home energy upgrades include improvements to keep homes better sealed and insulated and upgrades that improve the efficiency of the heating and cooling system, appliances or other major energy-consuming equipment within the home.
Residents who participate in the promotion will also have access to a network of prequalified contractors, special WISE financing offers and third-party quality assurance.
Since the program started in 2010, the Chapel Hill WISE program has assisted more than 120 residents with energy upgrades.
“I think the WISE program appeals to so many people because people can do really necessary energy upgrades to their homes and the program provides a whole lot of assistance and the incentive dollars are also attractive to a lot of people,” Kuykendall said.
In addition, Kuykendall said participants are helping to save energy on a community level.
“I think that makes people feel good, and it brings the community closer together,” Kuykendall said.
Since 2010, the WISE program has received two grants worth about a $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy through the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance and the department’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program.
Richardson said WISE set out to increase the number of home energy professionals doing business in the area and to make home energy audits as “common as termite inspections” for homeowners.
“I think we have been fairly successful,” Richardson said. “We’re feeling good about where things stand.”
For more information about the program, contact Mark Kuykendall, WISE program manager at mark@wiseprogram.info or 919-914-0094 and John Richardson at 919-969-5075.