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Early Boiler Replacement Program Now Includes Furnaces

Massachusetts customers of NSTAR and National Grid can participate in the MassSave Early Boiler Replacement Program beginning April 15. Consumers who replace a working forced hot water boiler or steam boiler that is at least 30 years old may qualify for rebates of between $1,900 and $4,000, depending upon the type of boiler being replaced and whether the boiler is being installed in a personal residence or rental property. Qualifying forced hot water boilers must have an AFUE rating of 90% or better. Qualifying steam boilers must have an AFUE rating of 85% or better.

A new feature of this year’s program includes rebates for replacement natural gas furnaces. Homeowners can receive rebates of $1,000 on the purchase and installation of a replacement furnace with an AFUE rating of at least 95% and an electronically commutating motor (ECM). The existing furnace must be at least 12 years of age and must be fueled by natural gas, propane or heating oil. The newly installed furnace must use the same type of fuel as the equipment it is replacing. (Conversions are not eligible to participate in this program.)

Whether you want to take advantage of the Early Boiler Replacement program or the Early Furnace Replacement program, the key is that you must be replacing a working boiler or furnace. Non-operational equipment is not eligible for this replacement program. The first step in participating in this program is to have a MassSave Home Energy Services Program Site Visit performed by a participating contractor, like Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating. The site visit must be performed between April 15, 2014 and September 30, 2014, and the replacement equipment must be installed by October 31, 2014. Once the installation has been completed, submit the rebate form (available at the MassSave website) and the required documentation, and MassSave will process your rebate request.

Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating can also help you with financing options on qualifying boilers and furnaces to make this important home improvement project as painless as possible. Taking advantage of this boiler/furnace replacement program can allow you to begin saving money on operational costs immediately this fall. In addition, summer is the ideal time to perform a boiler or furnace replacement.

If you would like more information about the Early Boiler Replacement program, or the Early Furnace Replacement program, please give us a call at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911 for details. We can help you get your MassSave Home Energy Services Program Site Visit scheduled and help you select qualifying, high-efficiency replacement home heating equipment.

Boston Heating Assistance Program On The Block

In the last several posts, I’ve focused on home heating and the pros and cons of using heating oil versus natural gas. For some Bostonians, simply getting through the winter with any heat at all is their primary concern. A program that helps low-income households in Boston and other places around the country may lose federal funding in the coming days or weeks. In the short term, Boston heating assistance is necessary to help people get through the winter, but the cuts really underscore the need to move households to more efficient, more cost-effective heating sources.

Unfortunately, homes in the Northeast still use heating oil. Over the course of the winter, the average home uses more than 1,000 gallons. At the current price – about $3.50 per gallon – the cost of heating for the winter will run about $3,500. If you heat from October through April, the cost averages about $500 per month, all things being equal. It’s easy to see why the energy assistance programs can mean so much to people who need help!

The MassSave program, which I’ve talked about in the past, can help replace old heating oil systems with cleaner, more efficient natural gas systems. In some cases, homeowners can qualify for a 0% loan over seven years to repay the cost of converting. This year, homeowners may also be able to take advantage of some remaining federal tax credits that could further reduce the cost of conversion.

The reduction in monthly expenditures for heat, combined with the zero-percent financing can help low-income households achieve significant cost reductions for heating. The good thing about the MassSave program is that unlike heating assistance programs, homeowners at all income levels can take advantage of this conversion assistance.

One of the real concerns about working with heating oil is the potential for a heating oil spill. As these heating oil systems age, the potential for a significant spill increases. At some point, only the oldest (and most dangerous) systems will remain in service, further increasing the likelihood of an accident. That’s why it is important to take advantage of the current programs in place to convert from oil to gas. Converting now will eliminate the risk of an oil spill from aging systems, reduce the cost of converting from oil to gas significantly and reduce operating costs into the future.

Home heating assistance may be a viable way to get through the winter, but converting from oil to gas is a longer-term solution for Boston home heating. If you’d like more information about converting from oil to gas, or about the MassSave program requirements, please contact us at (617) 288-2911 for a consultation.

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