The starting place for Texans looking to be more energy efficient should be with their local distribution utility companies like Oncor, CenterPoint, AEP, and TNMP. As part of the process to bring electric choice to Texas customers, the distribution utilities were required to meet energy efficiency targets for their service areas. In fact, the state has set a goal of meeting 20% of each utility’s annual growth in demand through energy efficiency by the end of the year.
To meet these goals, the utilities have developed various incentive programs to encourage customers to reduce their electric usage, ranging from rebates for Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) and new energy efficient appliances, to helping financing new, more efficient air conditioning systems or retrofitting a home’s ductwork.
The utilities manage the incentive programs, and the installations are provided by local energy service or maintenance contractors, which compete for customers business. The Dallas Morning News recently publicized some of the programs, noting the utility programs may help pay some of the costs, up to $1,500, or assist customers in finding third-party financing. Other programs, including federal tax credits of up to $1,500, can cut costs too.