University of Florida

Energy Efficiency Incentives

Improving your home’s energy efficiency can help you save money by reducing home energy bills. Sometimes these efficiency measures have high up-front costs that inhibit homeowners from making upgrades, despite long-term savings.

Incentives offered by federal, state, and local governments and utility providers can help homeowners afford these projects.

Efficiency Measures

Besides lowering costs for consumers, energy efficiency lowers demands on power plants and helps address environmental and health issues stemming from energy use.

In Florida, the greatest energy efficiency improvements are updating attic insulation, windows, and air conditioning systems. Other upgrades a homeowner could choose include replacing lighting and appliances or installing solar panels.

Choose efficiency upgrades that will be the most helpful for actually reducing your energy use. Many utility providers offer home energy audits to help identify areas for efficiency improvements.


Incentives are programs that offer encouragement (often financial) for customers to use a particular type of product or service.

Energy Audit

An energy audit is one of the most valuable incentives. Utility providers have trained consultants to help homeowners recognize areas of improved efficiency at little or no cost. These consultants will inspect many areas of the home and overlooked areas for improvements.

Consider completing an energy audit before making any energy upgrades.


A home’s structural features are often the first items to consider when looking for efficiency opportunities. Making these upgrades helps lower the demand on a home’s heating and cooling system.

Features: attic insulation, windows, reflective roof, weatherization

Typical incentives: utility rebates, federal tax credit, manufacturer rebates


Mechanical systems are often the largest energy users in Florida homes and are good areas for incentive programs. The mechanical system is mainly the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) components. The efficiency of these components is also influenced by the home’s windows, attic insulation, and ductwork.

Features: duct sealing, HVAC service, HVAC replacement

Typical incentives: utility rebates, federal tax credit, manufacturer rebates


Upgrading water heaters and other home appliances has become a common trend. New appliances often must meet ENERGY STAR® levels to qualify for incentives, so check with the incentive programs you are applying for to make sure the appliance meets the requirements. Appliances such as solar water heaters offer a quick investment return if your home is a candidate for alternative energies.

Features: water heater, refrigerator, washer, dryer

Typical incentives: federal tax credit, loan programs, manufacturer rebates


Upgrading lighting from incandescent to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) is relatively low-cost, but these upgrades are generally not covered by incentive programs.
You can often find CFLs at giveaways, utility buy-down programs, and local energy efficiency events. Choose quality over price when choosing CFLs—this will help make sure you are receiving the best efficiency return on your investment.

Features: compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), light emitting diodes (LEDs)

Typical incentives: utility and manufacturer giveaways

Alternative Energy

Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, solar water heaters, and wind power are some alternative technologies covered by current incentives. Florida offered a rebate program that was so successful, all allotted funding was used.
To look up other incentives for the state and its municipalities, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency website run by the U.S. Department of Energy and partners.

Features: solar water heating, solar photovoltaic panels, residential wind turbines, residential fuel cell and microturbine systems

Typical incentives: federal tax credit, utility rebates, loan programs

For more information on home energy efficiency and local incentives, contact your local Extension agent.

Adapted and excerpted from:

N. Taylor, et al., Energy Efficient Homes: Incentive Programs for Energy Efficiency (FCS3268), Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences (06/2008).

Energy efficient washer

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