Here at NETR Inc. we understand how expensive your HVAC system can be. We also don’t want price to prevent you from buying the most optimal HVAC system for your family. That is why we go out of our way to make it easy for you to get a rebate. Listen as Mike Cappuccio talks about how you can get a rebate, and how N.E.T.R., Inc. can help with that process.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Mike Cappuccio, owner of NETR Inc, a heating and cooling company in Massachusetts with a focus on Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling products. Today we’re talking about rebates on ductless heating and cooling systems. Welcome, Mike.
Mike Cappuccio: Good morning, John.
Are there any rebates for heating and cooling systems that can reduce my total cost?
John: Mike, are rebates available on heating and cooling systems that would help lower the total cost?
Mike: Yes, there certainly is, John. I wish they were as good as they were five years ago, but they’re not because a lot of people have caught on to this technology and there’s only so much money available. Some of the rebates have decreased. We’ve just seen that recently in the past few days where we’re getting letters from the MassCEC department saying that, “Hey guys, the rebates are changing for 2019. They’re not going to be as high as they were for 2018, so get your rebates in now, get your paperwork done before the end of the year because these homeowners, there’s going to be a decrease.”
Their reason why, more people have caught on to the technology, there’s only so much money available, so the rebates are decreasing. There were times back a few years ago, I would get $3,500 in a rebate on a system. Now that can be as high as 2,000, maybe 2,500, depending on the markets that we go to look at those rebates, but there certainly is rebates. I wish they were as good as they were. That’s not to say they won’t change. I’ve heard rumors they can go back up again. It all depends on where you live and what rebates are available to you.
Do rebates come from the state or the manufacture of the ductless system?
John: Do you get rebates from the state, or from the ductless manufacturer themselves, or both?
Mike: They come from a few places. First off, you have to see where the homeowner lives and who they buy their electricity from. If you are in a municipality town, I know there’s towns like Concord, Peabody, Danvers, some of these towns like that, some of the smaller towns, you pay your electric bill to the town. Some of those towns have rebates, but they’re different rebates. They’re not coming through the state. What we usually see are the ones that come through the state if you’re buying your electricity from, let’s say, an NSTAR, a National Grid, a big conglomerate like that, Eversource, places like that.
If you’re an Eversource user or a National Grid user, things like that that you’re buying that power from, those are where the rebates come through the state. They come from two different places. The first one is, they come from the Mass Clean Energy Council. Those are pretty extreme rebate. Those are much higher than the other entity which is Mass Save. Let me talk about the low one first. Mass Save has certain rebates on certain units. They usually run about $100 in indoor unit. Example, if you’ve got a four-zone unit, you might get up to $400.
If you have a one-zone unit, you might get $100. It all depends on the efficiency of the unit, the type of unit, things like that, that are going into a house. On average, it’s about $100 per indoor unit. The MassCEC is a different rebate. That comes based on certain systems. They have to meet a certain criteria, a certain EER level, a certain SEER level. A lot of those are heating and cooling units. They’re mostly never just cooling only units, they’re always heating and cooling units. There is a criteria they need to meet.
Those start anywhere from around $500, and those go up to somewhere probably around $2,500. That’s in 2018 that we’re talking about now. It all depends on the type of system, how big it is, how many indoor units. You can combine the two rebates together. You can have MassCEC, Mass Save, and then sometimes there’s rebates from the actual manufacturer too. Through Mitsubishi electric, sometimes we have promotional rebates in the spring and in the fall that go with that too. Some of the bigger systems, you can have a combined rebate of up to $3,000 sometimes.
Why are rebates being offered?
John: Why is the state giving rebates on ductless systems? Is it because the units themselves are more energy efficient, therefore, it cuts down on energy use across the state?
Mike: I think with the CEC, the first things are the carbon neutral footprint. The natural gas, you would think they want people to cool with these systems, but they want them to heat with these systems. They want heating to be used with these. They’re willing to kick in these rebates for the Clean Air Energy, that’s what they’re trying to get across to the people now. There are rebates for that on the heating side and the cooling side. The cooling side, we’re definitely drawing less electricity, but a lot of this is based around the heating.
I forgot to mention, the prior question was, if you have an all-electric home, there are some additional rebates. We’ve gone in and taken some all electric homes and converted them with a Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling, and there’s an additional rebate for the electric add too. I think they’re really trying to look at things that draw a lot of current and produce a lot of pollution into the air from the heating side of that. That’s why that’s coming in.
Mass Save, on their rebates, the smaller rebates, those hundred dollars per indoor unit, they’re more looking at the SEER level and the energy efficiency ratings is what they’re looking at. They want an efficient heating and air conditioning system that’s probably maybe more towards the air conditioning side is what they’re looking at. Those rebates aren’t as great. The ones from the manufacturers are just- those are promotional things for different parts of the year.
How do I get a rebate?
John: Talk a little bit about how I would go about signing up or getting one of these rebates.
Mike: First off, you don’t sign up. Again, we talked about the Do It Yourself in some prior podcasts and stuff like that. This is one of the things that a Do It Yourself can’t do. This is something we can do because you need to be certified, you need to be a MassCEC certified installer. Again, to become a certified installer, that means training. We have to go through certain amount of training, certain amount of hours to become a MassCEC certified installer. That being said, now, when we come into your home, we take care of all of this rebate stuff for you.
First off, the CEC paperwork. I need two things from you. I need you to sign a piece of paper saying that you’re going to do this installation with NETR, the second thing would be, I would need a copy of your utility bill. We basically apply for the rebate for you. We do all of the paperwork for you. You just sign a few things, we have an in-house person dedicated just to rebate. That’s all that person does all day long, plugs and rebates, all day long to the state.
From there, we’ll use your email. You’re going to get an automated email saying that you’re going to get the check. We basically just fill out all the paperwork, get it sent in, you’re going to see an automated email saying, “Hey, NETR applied for a rebate for you,” and it’s done. Mass Save, a little bit different, but the day of the installation, the day the installation is complete, we’re going to hand you a rebate form. You need to sign it, it’ll be all filled out, we’re going to fill it all out for you, you need to sign it and mail it in as a copy of a zero balance invoice and that will explain to you what to do with it.
We’ll even give you an envelope with a stamp on it, address, sign it, put it in and send it in, done. The manufacturer’s rebates would be taken off the price right at the beginning. The rebate side of it, we want to make as easy as we can for you the homeowner, because it’s something that gets lost in the transition as a homeowner. You go install something and then you’re trying to go on and do your own MassCEC rebate. You’re just going to be calling me asking me, “Hey, what do I do? How do I do this? How do I put this in?” It’s really MassCEC has a kind of design and setup so the contract does do it. We handle all of that for you, you just get a check.
About 10 to 12 weeks, you’re going to see the check. Sometimes it can run a little bit longer. There’s one other thing you’re going to need to do in the interim of the rebate. Sometimes you’re going to have to get what’s called a Mass Save Energy Audit. All we really need is the date of the audit. We can even call for you and set up the audit for you. That means an auditor from Mass save is going to come out to your home, look at your home, make other recommendations for you too, as far as maybe you want installation, maybe you want a few other things.
The other thing that the MassCEC and the energy auditor are going to talk to you about is the 0% financing. Right now you can do a 0% loan for up to seven years on a Mitsubishi heating and cooling system through the state. This requires a little more paperwork. This we’re going to help you. We’re going to guide you through the process of it, but we can’t do your application. Your application has a lot of personal information.
John: Because it’s a loan.
Mike: It’s a loan application and you have to go to a local bank to do this. They use small local banks to do this within the state, but I’m going to tell you, we’re doing several, several Mass Save 0% seven year loans for people. It’s a great deal. You can get a nice system installed, no interest for seven years through the state. That’s a nice perk to get. It takes a little while. It takes sometimes four to five weeks to get approved. The approval process is basically based on how cooperative is the homeowner being. Are they going to the bank? Are they doing these things? I’m making a lot of phone calls in the interim, “Hey, John, have you gone to the bank? Have you got the approval? There’s a little bit of an approval process. We know the steps, we’ve done it hundreds of times-
John: You can help guide-
Mike: We can help guide you through that. We have a video on our website about how to go about doing it. The only way you can get the forms, though, is to start the filling out the forms through the MassCEC energy audit. You have to have that done. Once you get that done, it’s a nice smooth transition from there. It depends on how cooperative the homeowner is.
John: Right. Do I know right up front that I’m going to get these rebates? When you sit down and you talk to a homeowner, do you say, “This is going to be the cost of the project overall, but you’re going to get this rebate, and this rebate, and this rebate. This is going to be your total cost”?
Mike: Absolutely, it’s going to show up right in the proposal at the kitchen table that we’re going to do with you. If you buy this system, maybe there might be three options on the proposal that might say, this system one, two, and three. Right at the bottom of the proposal, say, Mass Save rebate is this amount, MassCEC rebate is this amount, manufacturer’s rebate is this amount. If there’s any promotions going on, and it’ll show a final price to you. It’ll show the starting price, let’s just say X,Y, Z price is $15,000 and there’s $3,000 in rebates, the end price to you is 12,000 and it would show those numbers to you.
Again, we’ve got to make sure that you are not a municipality, because the municipalities, we can’t do the paperwork for you. A lot of that has to be done through the certain municipalities that you work with. I know Lexington and Concord, we can do them online, but there’s a few other ones that we can’t. Lexington and Concord is basically the same as the MassCEC. You’d be surprised a lot of the smaller ones do follow what they’re doing, but not all of them. We don’t know every little town and how they do that. We’re just really focusing on the big ones, the main users using National Grid and Eversource.
John: All right, that’s really great information, Mike. Thanks again for speaking to me today.
Mike: Thanks, John.
John: For more information, visit the N.E.T.R., Inc. website at www.netrinc.com or call 781-933-NETR, that’s 781-933-6387.