Frequently asked questions: Air sealing and insulation, duct sealing

Air sealing, insulation and duct sealing is designed to save you money on heating and cooling costs, and keep your home comfortable. This includes sealing your home’s air leaks and insulating your home to keep conditioned air from escaping. energySMART, a Nicor Gas program, offers rebates in partnership with ComEd for air sealing, attic insulation, duct sealing and wall insulation including exterior wall and foundation sidewall.

Eligibility and participation

How do I participate?

First, verify that you are eligible for the offering. Single family homes or multi-family dwellings of 2-4 units, where the majority of the home is heated with natural gas delivered by Nicor Gas or heated with electricity delivered by ComEd, are eligible. If you are unsure about your eligibility, please call 855.433.2700 for verification.

After you have confirmed you are eligible, select an energySMART approved contractor to perform the work. Air sealing, insulation and duct sealing work must be performed by an energySMART approved contractor to be eligible for a rebate; visit nicorgasrebates.com/findacontractor to view the complete list of participating contractors.

Once the work is complete, your approved contractor will deduct your rebate from your invoice price.

I am a landlord of a residential property with a Nicor Gas account.  Can I receive a rebate for air sealing, insulation and duct sealing?

Yes, a landlord may participate and receive a rebate for qualifying weatherization improvements. If the landlord holds the Nicor Gas account, the landlord may receive the instant discount off of the invoice price. If the account is held by the tenant and the property owner/manager is paying for the air sealing and insulation improvements, the tenant must consent for the landlord to apply for a rebate using the tenant’s Nicor Gas account information. Property owners/managers must obtain their tenant’s account information and have their tenant sign a release form.

I am a renter; can I receive a rebate for air sealing, insulation and duct sealing?

Yes, you are eligible to participate and receive a rebate but you must obtain the property owner’s permission to install air sealing and insulation improvements.

Who submits the application?

Rebates for weatherization work are given to customers as an instant discount at the time of installation by the approved contractor. The approved contractor will apply to be reimbursed for the rebate by submitting an application within 30 days or by June 15, 2017, whichever comes first. Installations must occur prior to May 31, 2017, or while funds last.

Rebate requirements

Am I required to air seal when I add insulation to my attic?

Yes, air sealing the attic is required to obtain a rebate for adding insulation to your attic. Air sealing is one of the most cost-effective improvements to save energy, reduce energy costs and prevent moisture problems in the attic. It’s a requirement of the Building Performance Institute (BPI), of which all of our approved contractor are members, and a best practice in the industry to air seal and insulate the attic at the same time.

What is required to receive an air sealing rebate?

To qualify for an air sealing rebate, you must select an approved contractor who will complete the air sealing according to all rebate, Building Performance Institute (BPI) and code requirements. A minimum of 20 percent reduction in cubic feet per minute (measured as CFM50) is required to receive an air sealing rebate. The reduction measures the improvement in the air-tightness of your home. Your contractor will test before and after installation to determine CFM50, which is a measurement of air flow in your home in relation to building pressure. Rebates are paid per CFM50 reduction and customers are limited to one rebate per household, up to $400. Additional requirements apply. Contact an approved contractor to learn more about air sealing rebates.

What is required to receive an attic insulation rebate?

To qualify for an attic insulation rebate, you must select an approved contractor to complete the work. Prior to insulating, the contractor must air seal the attic according to Building Performance Institute (BPI) standards. To qualify for an attic insulation rebate, a home’s existing attic insulation may not exceed R30. Rebate amounts are paid per square foot of insulation installed, and vary depending on a home’s existing insulation:

  • Existing insulation measuring less than or equal to R19 (and ending at R49) is eligible for a rebate of $0.50 per square foot, up to $400.
  • Existing insulation greater than R19 and not exceeding R30 (and ending at R49) is eligible for a rebate of $0.30 per square foot, up to $400.

Additional requirements apply. Contact an approved contractor to learn more attic insulation rebates.

What is required to receive a duct sealing rebate?

To qualify for the duct sealing rebate, you must select an approved contractor who is eligible to complete duct sealing. All accessible ducts must be sealed and a minimum of 60 percent of the ducts must be located in an unconditioned space. Rebates are paid per home and customers are limited to one rebate per household, up to $300.

Additional requirements apply. Contact an approved contractor to learn more about duct sealing rebates.

What is required to receive a wall insulation rebate?

To qualify for wall insulation rebates, you must select an approved contractor and complete qualifying air sealing and attic insulation in your home. You may qualify if you previously participated in the ComEd and Nicor Gas Home Energy Savings program. Wall insulation rebates are available for exterior walls, foundation sidewalls and knew walls. As a precondition, a home’s existing wall assembly must be R value of 5 or less or an uninsulated cavity and be insulated to at least R13, in compliance with state or local code, whichever is higher.

Rebate amounts are paid per square foot of insulation installed, and vary depending on the wall insulation type:

  • Exterior wall insulation and/or foundation sidewall insulation is eligible for a rebate of $0.50 per square foot, up to $400 per household

Additional requirements apply. Contact an approved contractor to learn more about wall insulation rebates.

Working with an approved contractor

Do I have to use a specific installing contractor?

Yes, you must select an energySMART approved contractor to qualify for weatherization rebates. Visit nicorgasrebates.com/findacontractor to view the complete list of approved contractors.

What qualifications do approved contractors have?

Approved contractors must maintain certification by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) for both building analyst and building envelope. They must re-certify every three years and take a minimum of 12 hours of required continuing education training each year to maintain current certification. An approved contractor also must:

  • Obtain a license to work in each municipality and obtain a building permit if required.
  • Maintain proof of insurance for automobile general liability, and workers compensation and comprehensive general liability insurance.
  • Provide a good standing certificate from the State of Illinois

What are instant discounts?

Approved contractors must offer weatherization rebates as an “instant discount” off the eligible customer’s purchase price. To do so, they must deduct the amount of the rebate from the total invoice price, clearly labeled “Nicor Gas and ComEd instant discount.” The customer must sign the rebate application to confirm the installation information and receipt of the rebate as an instant rebate.

Will someone come to my house to inspect after the work is completed?

Program staff may conduct a quality assurance inspection. If selected for this verification, you will be contacted by a program representative and asked to participate.

If I participate in the weatherization rebate program, can I earn a home performance with energy star certificate of completion?

Yes, customers who participate in the weatherization program may earn either Silver or Gold Certificates of Completion from Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (IHP). IHP is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity and aims to help Illinois homeowners achieve energy saving benefits by working with qualified contractors. Many of the approved contractors who are eligible to offer you rebates are also IHP contractors. If your home upgrade achieves a Certificate of Completion, your IHP contractor will work with the Nicor Gas Weatherization Program, an IHP Program Provider, to certify your home. The IHP Certificate of Completion is designed to help you showcase your home energy upgrade. The easiest way to do this is to talk to your real estate professional about your upgrade and ask them to attach a digital copy of your Certificate to your home’s listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Potential buyers will know the effort you invested to make your home more energy efficient. For more information about funding and eligibility, please visit www.illinoishomeperformance.org.