Frequently asked questions: Home product rebates

Overview

What is energySMART?

energySMART, a Nicor Gas program, offers rebates and energy efficiency tools to help Nicor Gas customers save energy and money. energySMART is designed to educate customers about the benefits of high-efficiency, natural gas-saving products and to encourage customers to install these products by providing rebates. Increased energy efficiency is now more affordable with the help of energySMART.

What products can I receive a rebate for?

Visit the Rebates for Your Home page to see available rebate opportunities.

When are the rebate opportunities available?

Current rebate offers are available for qualifying purchases and installations completed between June 1, 2016 and May 31, 2017. Applications must be submitted within 90 days of installation, or by June 30, 2017, whichever comes first.

Why should I upgrade to high-efficiency products?

High-efficiency energy-saving products, including furnaces, boilers, storage water heaters, programmable thermostats and smart thermostats can help you save energy and money. On average, nearly half of a home’s energy bills go to heating and cooling your home. By installing high-efficiency products, you can help reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your home for years to come. With rebates from energySMART, upgrading to greater energy efficiency is more affordable.

Are there financing resources available?

Yes. For information on available financing, please visit Energy Efficiency Loans for homeowners.

Are other rebates or offers available through Nicor Gas?

Nicor Gas offers a variety of energy efficiency resources. Visit energySMART’s website, nicorgasrebates.com to explore all of the offerings available.

How can I find a contractor?

Use of a professional contractor for the installation of any qualifying product(s) is required with the exception of smart and programmable thermostats, which may be self-installed.

Visit nicorgasrebates.com/findacontractor to search for participating contractors in your area.

energySMART suggests the following tips when reviewing and selecting a contractor for the installation of your energy efficient product(s):

  • Always use a professional contractor.
  • Expect an on-site visit, ask questions and talk about your needs.
  • Be sure to get more than one quote for the work (at least three quotes is ideal).
  • The lowest quotes are not always the best—compare itemized quotes to determine what products or services, including any maintenance and warranties, are included in the costs.
  • Ask for written, itemized estimates that include all potential costs.
  • Ask the contractors what training or certifications they have received for installing energy-efficient products.
  • Read reviews on online sites such as Yelp and Angie's List.
  • Obtain and sign a contract, including: itemized costs, proof of insurance, completion date, and payment terms.

Eligible participants

Residential Nicor Gas customers:

  • All current Nicor Gas residential customers are eligible to participate.
  • Customers of an alternate energy supplier are eligible to participate if they receive their gas bill from Nicor Gas.
  • Customers must install qualifying energy-efficient products in a residential dwelling used as the occupant’s primary residence.
  • Single-family homes (attached and detached) and multi-family properties of four units or less may participate. Multi-family properties of five or more units may qualify for the multi-family rebate offers from the energySMART program.

Landlords and tenants who are Nicor Gas customers:

A landlord of an eligible Nicor Gas customer may receive a rebate payment for a qualifying installation paid for by the landlord.

  • The tenant/resident may hold the Nicor Gas account in his/her name. If the property owner/manager is purchasing and installing qualifying products in the unit, the tenant may allow the landlord to apply for a rebate using the tenant’s Nicor Gas account information.
  • Landlords must obtain their tenant’s Nicor Gas account information to complete the application.
  • The invoice must indicate the landlord paid for the product and installation.

Contractor Participants – Instant Discounts:

  • Participating contractors may offer the rebate as an instant discount off of an eligible customer’s invoice.
  • Contractors must obtain the customer’s Nicor Gas account information and have the customer sign the installation invoice. Invoices without a customer signature will be marked incomplete until the contractor obtains a signature from the customer.
  • The customer’s signature on the installation invoice confirms the installation information and receipt of the rebate as an instant discount, as well as release payment of the rebate(s) to the contractor.
  • It is the contractor’s responsibility to verify the customer and product/installation qualify for rebates, and to provide the full and correct rebate amount as a discount off the purchase amount.
  • The instant discount and use of the online application system are limited to Contractor Circle installing members. Interested contractors should email contractors@nicorgasrebates.com to enroll in the Contractor Circle.

I am installing energy-efficient products into my newly constructed home (or a new addition to my existing home); what rebates do I qualify for?

If your home is new construction or you are installing energy-efficient products into a new addition, you may qualify for a furnace, boiler and a smart thermostat rebate. You may also qualify for a home and water heating package if installed with a smart thermostat. You are not eligible for a programmable thermostat rebate or a home and water heating package rebate if installed with a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats installed in homes built after June 2015 do not qualify for a rebate. Homes built after June 2015 are required to have a programmable thermostat per the Illinois Energy Conservation Code.

I would like to install a storage water heater but not a furnace; can I qualify for a water heater rebate?

No, a storage water heater must be installed at the same time as a furnace and a programmable or smart thermostat to qualify for a home and water heating package rebate.

Participation

How can I participate?

Verify your eligibility. All current Nicor Gas residential customers installing qualifying products in a single-family home or multi-family dwelling of four units or less are eligible to participate.

  1. Review the product and installation requirements as listed on the rebate application. Please note that new construction is not eligible for the programmable thermostat rebate.
  2. Select a professional contractor for the purchase and installation your energy-efficient product(s). Professional installation is strongly encouraged but is not required for smart or programmable thermostats.
  3. Select and install any qualifying product(s). Visit the Rebates for Your Home page for information on qualifying products.
  4. Ensure your contractor includes all of the required information on your contractor installation invoice:
    • Contractor name and contact information
    • Installation date
    • Product manufacturer and model number
    • Total cost of installation
    • Proof of payment or payment terms (balance due of zero, financing terms or paid-in-full stamp)
  5. Apply for your rebate using either the paper application or the online application system. Include your contractor installation invoice/purchase receipt with your application submission. After your rebate application is completed and approved, you will receive a rebate check in approximately six to eight weeks.

How long will it take to receive my rebate?

We strive to process rebates as quickly as possible. The best way to ensure timely receipt of your rebate check is to provide a properly completed application with a complete contractor installation invoice or purchase receipt. After receiving your complete and eligible application, you will receive your rebate check within approximately six to eight weeks. If additional information is needed to complete your application, you will be contacted by a program representative.

How can I check on the status of my rebate?

Applicants may check the status of a rebate application online or by calling 877.886.4239. To check the status online, visit the Track My Rebate page.   

Will someone come to my house to inspect the work?

energySMART conducts an on-site verification from a sampling of program participants. By signing your rebate application, you have agreed to allow access to your home and the rebated product for verification. If selected for this verification, you will be contacted and asked to participate.

Will a rebate impact my taxes?

Please consult with your tax advisor to determine if residential energy efficiency product rebates are considered taxable by the IRS.

Where can I install qualifying products?

Products must be installed in a residential dwelling used as the occupants' primary residence. Single-family homes and multi-family dwellings of four units or less are eligible. Products must be installed in a property owned by the applicant, or the applicant must have received permission from the property owner to install the product. Please note that new construction is not eligible for the programmable thermostat rebate.

Application submission requirements

When are applications due?

Online applications must be submitted online, and mail-in applications must be postmarked within 90 days of installation, or by June 30, 2017, whichever comes first. Products must be installed and fully operational prior to submitting a rebate application.

What is required on the contractor invoice/proof of purchase receipt?

  • Contractor name and contact information
  • Installation date
  • Product manufacturer and model number
  • Total cost of installation
  • Proof of payment or payment terms (balance due of zero, financing terms or paid-in-full stamp)

Where do I mail in my rebate application and supporting documentation?

Your application with an invoice or purchase receipt for product installations completed June 1, 2016 and later should be mailed to:

Nicor Gas energySMART
Dept. 16-67621
P.O. Box 540017
El Paso, TX 88554-0071

Installation requirements

Landlord and tenant applicant requirements:

I am a residing tenant and the Nicor Gas account is in my name, but I do not own the property where the product is being installed. Can I participate in the program?

As a residing tenant, you may be eligible to participate in the program. The landlord/property manager must sign the invoice to indicate payment of the product. Your landlord/property manager’s signature on the application is required and represents that you, the Nicor Gas account holder, have released payment of the rebate to your landlord/property manager. All other program requirements apply. 

I am a landlord and the gas account is in my name. Can I participate in the program?

Yes. You may participate and apply as the Nicor Gas account holder. Please complete the rebate application following all program rules and requirements.

I am a landlord and the gas account is in my tenant’s name. Can I participate in the program?

Yes, you may participate and apply for a rebate. The following requirements apply:

  • You must be the purchaser of the qualifying product.
  • You must complete the rebate application for the rebate(s) you are applying for, meeting program requirements.
  • You must obtain and supply your tenant’s account number, name and information (as listed on their Nicor Gas account) on the rebate application. By providing his/her Nicor Gas account information to the landlord for use in applying for a rebate, the account holder is agreeing to the applicable terms and conditions and releases payment of the rebate to the landlord.
  • Please note: Your tenant may be contacted to verify that the rebated product was paid for and installed as listed on the rebate application.

Instant discount rebates

I am a Nicor Gas customer and my contractor offered me an “instant discount.” How do I participate?

By taking advantage of the instant discount option for your rebate, your contractor will provide the rebate to you as an upfront discount, deducting it from the total cost of your qualifying product installation. Your contractor will then receive the rebate check from energySMART directly. Additional steps are required and all program requirements apply.

Only contractors who are currently enrolled in the Contractor Circle are eligible to offer the instant discount. Visit nicorgasrebates.com/findacontractor if you’re interested in using a contractor who offers the instant discount for your qualifying installation.

You will be asked by your contractor to sign the invoice, confirming you received the rebate as an instant discount, agreeing to applicable program terms and conditions, and releasing the payment of the rebate to your contractor.