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Energy upgrade?

PRINCETON — A new energy efficiency program is now available for Princeton residents who are customers of Nicor Gas and the city of Princeton Electric Department.

Residents who are upgrading their furnace and air conditioning units at the same time to more efficient units can qualify for energy efficient showerheads, light bulbs and thermostats or for rebates of up to $1,000.

Princeton Electric Superintendent Jason Bird explained the program is a tool from which residents and the city can both benefit.

“It’s good for the city, as it cuts back on power costs, and it helps residents be more efficient and save money on utility bills,” he said.

The new pilot program is divided into two components: A Completed System Replacement Rebate Program and a Multi-Family Comprehensive Energy Efficient Program.

Owners of single-family homes or multi-family dwellings of three units or less participate in the Complete System Replacement Component.

Managers or owners of condominiums or apartment complexes of more than five units may be eligible to participate in the Multi-family Comprehensive Energy Efficient Program

The program is made possible by a $325,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The grant is being administered by the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA), which is the city of Princeton’s wholesale electric supplier.

Bird explained new energy-efficient furnaces must be at least 92 percent more efficient and central air conditioners must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of at least 14.5. Homeowner’s who meet these qualifications can qualify for a rebate of $700-1,000.

Other cities who are taking part in this program include Farmer City, Naperville, Rantoul, Rock Falls, St. Charles and Winnetka. Bird said he encourages residents to take advantage of the program as soon as possible before funds are exhausted.

“We are hoping to get our share of it,” Bird said.

The program is valid until March 2014 or until funds are exhausted.

Residents who are interested in the program must visit or call 877-886-4239.

The costs of all electric efficiency measures and rebates offered through this program are being paid with money from the DCEO grant. Nicor Gas pays all costs related to the program’s natural gas energy efficiency measures and rebates.

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