Advice needed on house heater replacement and NJ clean energy incentive
March 25, 2015 2:53 PM   Subscribe

Share your experiences with heater replacement and home energy audit rebates. We are in the process of vetting contractors to replace our home heater - an oil to gas conversion - and one of them is proposing some home energy remediations, citing saving by taking advantage of NJ's clean energy program.

The program offers funds of up to $5000. In order to qualify for the full refund, we'd have to apply (2) of the measures on this page, one of which has to be air sealing.

The proposal from one of the vendors includes a gas boiler, hot water heater, air sealing costs, insulation costs and a hard pipe for the dryer. That all comes to around $15,000. However, in lieu of us paying the entire cost, we would pay 10,000 for the contractor to do the install and remediation work. We'd sign over the $5000 rebate over to them. If we didn't do the whole remediation thing, quotes from two other contractors for the heater & hot water tank conversion and removal are in the $9000 - $10,500 range.

It seems like a no-lose situation, which to my cynical eye means there is something that we're not thinking of. We had a very bad experience with a contractor in the fall (and if you are looking at doing any kind of basement waterproofing, I can't even begin to describe how much you should NOT use Value-Dry) and I am so apprehensive about dealing with another contractor again.

As a note: it's an actual company, not just a dude in a truck with a craigslist-scam-sounding proposal. There will be permits and an inspection involved due to the removal of an oil tank. It's a well-reviewed local company that's been around for a number of years.

What are we not thinking of? Have you navigated this successfully? Thanks in advance!
posted by 8dot3 to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not sure about this situation specifically, but if you need a good HVAC guy in NJ I can recommend. Me-mail me if you need his number.
posted by pyro979 at 6:27 PM on March 25, 2015

I had my oil heat replaced with geothermal by Ryan Energy back in 2011, and I got the NJCEP rebate/0% loan deal (tier 3, level 1 on the chart on that page), plus a 1-year GeoSmart loan that got paid back with a tax credit I got for the installation. I can't remember whether I signed the rebate directly over to Ryan or not, but I'm thinking I probably did. It all went off without a hitch--even with Hurricane Irene leaving a foot and a half of water in my basement just before the furnace went live! (Ryan brought in fans to help me dry out the basement, and luckily the system wasn't damaged.)

Overall I was super happy with the job. My only quibble was that they had to install ductwork all through my (old) house, and their workers didn't fix up the damaged plaster around one of the vents--I had to make them do it. But when I pointed it out, I didn't get any pushback. The people were nice, and they explained everything clearly and sorted out the paperwork for me with no problems.

Good luck on your conversion!
posted by velvet_n_purrs at 11:50 AM on March 26, 2015

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