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Energy-saving air conditioners can yield rebates for Floridians

Starting Monday, Florida homeowners who buy Energy Star central air conditioners can qualify for a $1,500 rebate.

The state will issue $15 million in rebates for new energy efficient air conditioners bought between now and Dec. 31 — or earlier if the money runs out. The money, enough for about 10,000 rebates, is from the federal stimulus law passed in early 2009.

Rebates will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

Items that qualify include new central air conditioners, air source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps that meet the standards required for a federal tax credit of up to $1,500. Single-room or window units are not eligible for rebates. They were included in an appliance rebate program earlier this year.

To qualify for the rebate, buyers must have their homes’ duct systems tested. The results must show that leaks to the outside aren’t more than 15 percent — or repairs will be required to reduce the leakage.

The state estimates that about 12 percent of Florida homes won’t qualify because their air conditioner duct systems can’t be accessed for repair. Duct testing must be done by a Florida Class 1 rater, Florida licensed mechanical contractor or recognized test and balance agent.

Requests for rebates must include the application form, a copy of the receipt for the new unit with the make and model clearly identified, a copy of the mechanical building permit issued by a municipality for replacement of the system, a copy of the first page of the ACCA Manual J program and a copy of the Air Distribution Test System Report that shows a leakage score of 0.10 Qn.out or less

Only Florida residents are eligible for the rebates.

Rebates will be issued as American Express Prepaid Cards, which will never expire or have monthly fees. The cards can be exchanged for checks or an electronic deposit.

The rebates can be combined with manufacturer rebates, electric company rebates and a federal tax credit of 30 percent of the price of qualifying model, up to $1,500.

For more information, including what types of systems qualify, go to Rebate application forms should be available at the site starting Monday. Items bought before then won’t qualify. For information about the federal tax credit, go to

Information about Florida Power & Light’s rebate program is at

Energy Star ratings are created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.


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