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Home Performance with Energy Star Programs

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How Do I Know if I Would Benefit from This Program?

The Home Performance with Energy Star Program connects each homeowner with a contractor who will conduct a home energy assessment. The contractor will identify home improvements to reduce energy costs, and make the home more energy-efficient and comfortable.

To see if this program could help you, complete the Home Energy Yardstick assessment found at opens in a new If you have a score of five or less, your home could benefit from the Home Performance Program.

Participation Steps

The program is available to qualified Columbia Water & Light residential electric customers who are remodeling their homes to be more energy efficient. Home Performance program parameters must be followed to qualify for rebates and a loan. Any work performed before the initial energy assessment is not eligible for a rebate or loan. A qualifying air conditioner/heat pump might still be eligible for a rebate after it is installed.

Hire one of our certified contractors and they will walk you through the steps for participation.

Blower door setup – used with a Home Performance with Energy Star assessment to measure air infiltration (leaks).

Participating local contractors are certified by the Building Performance Institute to evaluate the energy efficiency of your home. Their “whole-house” approach uses a series of inspections and diagnostic tests, known as a Home Performance Assessment, to learn about your home and what needs to be done to improve its efficiency.

  • Make an appointment for the Home Performance Assessment after the fee has been agreed on. The assessment can cost from $200 to $400. The cost of the assessment can be financed with our low-interest loan program. Consult the list of our certified home performance contractors.
  • The assessment usually takes about four hours. Afterwards, you will be provided with the recommended energy efficiency improvements, the expected energy savings, plus a cost and rebate estimate.
  • Applying for a loan: Submit the loan application and wait for approval before starting the efficiency upgrades.
  • Columbia Water & Light suggests that you use one of our certified contractors for your Home Performance projects so the work is completed within the parameters of the program. When gathering bids, make sure each bid is in writing and explains what will be completed and how long the project will take. Remember, the lowest bid may not provide the best product or service.
  • If you are completing the energy efficiency upgrades yourself, please save the receipts for all the materials. Columbia Water & Light will need copies of them to process your rebate.
  • As soon as your financing is secure, you can instruct the contractors working on your home to begin.
  • Make copies of all the invoices for your efficiency upgrades. Set up an appointment with the Home Performance contractor for a post-inspection. At this appointment, a Columbia Water & Light staff member will collect all the copies of the invoices. Your rebate application will be completed at this meeting and turned in for processing.
  • If you are approved for a loan, you will be contacted two weeks after the final inspection to arrange an appointment for the loan signing paperwork. Rebate checks will either be mailed or given to you at your loan appointment.
You will receive a FREE energy efficiency score certificate for participating in the program!


  • Home Performance rebates and loans are only available for qualified Columbia Water & Light residential electric customers and are not available for newly constructed homes.
  • A duplex or a condominium could be eligible if it has three major walls exposed to outside conditions and more than 900 square feet of attic space. If the unit’s size ranges from 700 to 899 square feet, the customer is eligible for all the Home Performance rebates if an efficient air conditioner or heat pump is installed.
  • Customers must have an initial and a post assessment by a certified contractor. Utility usage data must be supplied by the customer.
  • Rebate qualifying improvements must be listed on the certified contractor’s summary report. Improvements completed before the initial assessment are not eligible for a rebate.
  • Home Performance program parameters must be followed to qualify for rebates and a loan. Rebates and loans are subject to funding availability.
cold resident

Common Recommendations

Sealing Air Leaks

Many air leaks in homes are fairly obvious, such as around windows, doors, and electrical outlets. But others, like those in attics, around chimneys, and through recessed lighting fixtures, are often the more significant sources of energy loss in a home.

Adding Insulation

Many homes built before 1985 are not well-insulated. If you think you need more attic insulation, check our charts for savings, cost, payoff and rebate amounts, found on the Rule Your Attic page. Your Certified Home Performance Contractor will check the levels in your walls, floors, attic and rim joists.

Sealing Duct Work

Many homes have leaky duct work and poor air flow, resulting in stuffy and uncomfortable rooms. Your Certified Home Performance Contractor may recommend sealing and/or insulating your home’s duct work along with balancing the duct system to optimize air flow.

Improving Heating and Cooling Systems 

If your furnace or air conditioner is more than 10 years old, it’s probably time to replace it with a more efficient unit that is properly sized for your home.


Click here to learn more about Home Performance Rebates. Receive up to $1,200 for approved energy efficiency upgrades plus up to $1,600 for an efficient air conditioner or heat pump. You might also be eligible for a opens in a new windowfederal tax credit.


Click here to learn more about Home Performance Loans. You can get a low-interest loan for most of the energy efficiency improvements suggested in the assessment.

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