Cool and Green

Cool and green go well together during a hot summer.Green living happens when we apply conscious thought to everyday life; when vision coupled with planning intersect at appropriate times. Setting yourself up for success is the key.

Since summer is here, let’s use an appropriate example. Most of us would not care to live in Southern Nevada without modern air-conditioning systems. We depend on them to get us comfortably through months of extremely hot temperatures. Like all equipment, they require regular maintenance, periodic repair and eventual replacement. We know this. It’s a fact.

If your vision includes an energy-efficient, comfortable home then having an air-conditioning equipment strategy makes sense. Since these systems can be expensive, the first big hurdle is almost always money. Make regular savings a part of your plan. Living without a few frivolous do-dads or daily lattes can eventually add up to a substantial “green fund” to use when the time is right, whether for an AC upgrade or a hybrid car. I look at it like making payments in advance, avoiding interest while gaining flexibility and peace of mind.

The next step is to be pro-active. Remember, it’s a fact that you’ll have to deal with AC issues eventually. You might skate by for a few extra seasons while avoiding maintenance, but there’s a good chance that you’ll be missing opportunities for efficiency and savings too. The worst case scenario is when your air-conditioner dies suddenly in the middle of summer. You are forced to act quickly and usually have the fewest options. In other words, don’t wait to have your AC system checked.

Timing has been an important factor in my personal green living strategy. Rebate and incentive programs tend to come and go. They change over time and sometimes they’re more valuable than others. A pro-active homeowner with a green fund is well-positioned to take advantage of incentives when the time is right.

NV Energy’s CheckMe Plus AC Program is currently offering incentives for customers who choose early replacement of air-conditioner and heat pump systems. Early replacement is the key since rebates are only available on working systems.

Here’s how it works. Start by visiting or by calling 855-625-6404. The website has a list of authorized contractors you can call. They’ll send out a technician to analyze your AC system and provide recommendations.

The best part of this program is flexibility. It’s designed to address the needs of customers, not just to replace AC systems. If a simple tune up will keep your system running smoothly and with relative efficiency, that’s what will be recommended. The program includes smaller rebates for minor repairs and maintenance too.

If your system tests poorly and needs replacing, upgrading to an energy efficient model could result in a rebate of up to $1,000. Since even a basic HVAC replacement can run $5,000 or more, that rebate could make the difference in your decision to go for a higher-performing but costlier unit.

The program also offers rebates for high efficiency fan motors and even duct testing and sealing. Ducts carry cool air to your living space, but leaks are common and often severe. Don’t overlook them – they are an important part of the system.

You will find several other money-saving programs on NV Energy’s site. Of particular interest is their refrigerator recycling program. Not only will they pick it up for free and recycle it responsibly, they will pay you for the privilege. Normally that means $30 in your pocket but during July and August they’ve bumped up the incentive to $50. On top of that, you could realize up to $140 a year in energy savings.

As you save energy, build your green fund. Take advantage of timely programs that can reduce costs. Be pro-active. Green Living is a strategy that really works.



  1. This article is so timely. Last year in Atlanta, it was challenging to get the upstairs cool. Due to a complete servicing prompted by an energy audit, this year has been most comfortable.

    Hopefully, more and more companies will begin to offer residents affordable testing for their homes.

    As always, Steve, thanks for your posts.