September 19, 2018

Georgia is well-known for its peaches, peanuts, and pecans – and its hot, humid summer days that stretch well into the fall months. Georgia residents could benefit greatly from energy efficiency (EE) rebates and incentives that help keep buildings cool and comfortable when it’s needed most. EE improvements can also reduce household electric bills, and lead to healthier homes and communities for all Georgians.

Energy efficiency incentives and rebates for Georgia residents

Although Georgia has no statewide EE programs or mandate, there’s a good chance that your local contractor or electric utility service provider offers rebates or energy efficiency incentives:

  • Georgia Power, the largest investor-owned utility in the state, offers both residential and commercial EE programs.

  • In addition, a number of Georgia’s 41 Electric Membership Cooperatives (EMCs) offer EE programs and services. The state’s largest EMCs by total customer count include Jackson EMC and Cobb EMC. Both serve residents in the metropolitan Atlanta area. Jackson EMC offers both residential and commercial energy savings programs, while Cobb EMC offers a variety of energy solutions for their member customers.

  • Furthermore, Georgia’s 52 municipal electric utilities may offer similar programs and services. One example is Marietta Power and Water, which offers rebates for heat pumps and water heater replacements. Along with the city of Cartersville, Georgia, Marietta Power and Water also participates in the GreenStreet program, which offers rebates for ENERGY STAR appliances and HVAC systems.

  • Notably, residents of several counties in northwest Georgia that are part of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) service area may qualify for TVA’s residential water heater rebates, as well as the eScore home efficiency assessment program.

For an updated list of statewide programs, Georgians can also visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE).

Georgia Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

For low-income residents who own or rent their home, the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is available to provide whole building EE updates such as air and duct sealing, insulation, and HVAC system improvements. WAP is administered by Community Action Agencies (CAAs) in counties across Georgia. The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority is a helpful resource for more information about WAP, participating CAAs, and how to apply.

Energy efficiency incentives for Georgia builders and developers

In addition, builders and developers in the state can lead the way through construction of more resource-efficient homes and buildings by considering pursuit of green building certifications such as LEED or EarthCraft. Green building certifications can also be pursued for homes undergoing significant renovations. As 2020 approaches, Georgia is also moving toward implementation of a new residential and commercial energy code based on the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) with state-specific amendments. Currently, Georgia adheres to the 2009 IECC with state-specific amendments.

As with any undertaking, each home energy efficiency project is unique. We hope this information proves helpful to you and encourage you to further investigate the rebate and incentive options provided by your local contractor or electric utility service provider.

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Southface, Guest Poster

Southface is an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable homes, workplaces and communities through education, advocacy, research and technical assistance. Learn more at www.southface.org.