If the health of the planet isn’t enough incentive to go green, how about cold hard cash?
Chicago’s Sustainable Backyard Program offers rebates to residents who take an environmentally-friendly approach to their landscaping. Install a rain barrel, set up a compost bin, plant a tree or native garden and the city will reimburse you up to $100 (for trees).
Rebate forms, information on eligible trees and plants, and a schedule of sustainable backyard workshops can be found on the program’s website.
Center Square neighbor Gail Philbin also wrote in to CSJ to spread the word about the non-profit Center for Neighborhood Technology’s (CNT) air-sealing program that includes up to $850 of rebates for window sealing from People’s Gas.
“The program includes a pre-work inspection and radon test by auditors from CNT Energy who then refer owners to a qualified contractor,” writes Philbin. “After the work is done, the auditors return to ensure airflow reduction targets are met and homeowners are seeing results.
“Participants are assessed a $125 fee at the outset, which is refunded after completion of the air sealing. Peoples Gas offers an 85% rebate of the cost of the air sealing itself (up to $1,000). And, if the home also needs insulation added, People Gas will provide a 75% rebate for the cost of the insulation!”
“Where’s the catch?” asks Philbin. “There isn’t one. Air sealing is a new service for consumers, and Peoples Gas wanted to test it out in a small pilot program.” The program is paid for by funds already collected in homeowner bills with a line item marked “Enhanced Efficiency Program,” which includes the air-sealing pilot.
CSJ’s publisher, Mike Fourcher is already participating in the program, and he can vouch for its usefulness.
“We’ve already had a free air seal test done on our house and we expect the window work to be done by the end of June,” said Fourcher.
The pilot is currently accepting applications. The Air Sealing Pilot Program is available only to Peoples Gas and ComEd customers residing within the City of Chicago in homes of 1 or 2 units. For more information, check CNT’s website or call (877) 908-9693.