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Energy-efficiency rebate programs from gas and electricity utilities have become pretty common nationwide. They provide homeowners with rebates for replacing a furnace or adding insulation to a home. But while these programs may seem like a good idea, if not designed properly, they can be toxic to small businesses.
One such program from my gas utility, Dominion East Ohio, was a primary cause behind the death of my insulation contracting business—a business that in 2012 was one of only 97 businesses nationwide to do more than 100 projects with the Department of Energy’s Home Performance with Energy Star program. That made me a Century Club contractor.
Nate Adams is the founder of Energy Smart Home Performance near Cleveland Ohio. Energy Smart's focus is on solving homeowner problems with home comfort, health, durability, and efficiency using Building Science thinking. Usually this looks like a cross between insulation and HVAC upgrades. He hopes to help foster a vibrant industry making consumer homes better. Some of these homes, such as this one, are "homes of the future" that no longer need fossil fuels because they only use electricity that can be created renewably.