Smart $aver® Eligibility and FAQs
Smart $aver® Eligibility
For any new or existing Duke Energy residential, single-family home in Ohio, these requirements must be met to receive applicable rebates.
- Air-to-air heat pumps must be 14 SEER or higher. Geothermal heat pumps must be 10.5 EER or higher.
- New heat pump or air conditioner must include an electronically commutative fan motor (ECM) on the indoor furnace.
- New natural gas furnace must be 90 percent AFUE or higher.
- Qualifying systems must be installed on or after July 16, 2007.
- Customers applying for the gas furnace incentive must receive their natural gas service frm Duke Energy Ohio and have an active account at the time of the application.
If you have additional questions about the Smart Saver program, please call 1-866-785-6209.
Note: Duke Energy reserves the right to change the Smart Saver program requirements and incentives at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a SEER/EER?
These are energy efficiency ratings for heat pumps and air conditioners. The higher the number, the less energy the system uses. Make sure the unit you purchase has a SEER/EER rating certified by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI). See the links at the top of this page in the right column for more information on SEER and ARI.
What is an ECM fan motor?
The electric fan in your indoor furnace is responsible for a good portion of your heating costs. Older, standard furnace fans use much more energy than new energy efficient ECM fan motors. Sometimes called a “variable speed” fan, an ECM fan also offers many other features for added comfort in your home. An ECM fan motor on your indoor furnace is required for each qualifying air conditioner or heat pump.
What is AFUE?
This is an energy efficiency rating for gas and oil furnaces. The higher the number, the less energy the system uses. This number is an estimate of what percent of the fuel you purchase will be converted to heat for your home’s winter heating. Make sure the gas furnace you purchase has an AFUE rating certified by the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA).
What is a Participating Heating Dealer?
Heating contractors who have completed Duke Energy’s Participating Heating Dealer sign-up form are eligible to offer the Smart Saver program including customer rebates. Participating dealers will complete your Incentive Application and be familiar with all other program requirements.
What is a Participating Builder?
Home builders who have completed Duke Energy Ohio’s Participating Heating Dealer and Builder Sign-up form are eligible to receive the Builder incentives. Participating builders who have successfully completed at least one Smart Saver installation and have received an incentive will be included in the Participating Smart Saver Builder list.
Who receives the Smart Saver incentive from Duke Energy?
Existing Homes – The $200 Smart Saver incentive for existing homes is a customer incentive. Heating dealers are also eligible for separate incentives for qualifying existing home installations.
New homes - The Smart Saver incentive for new homes is a Builder’s incentive. The incentive may be assigned to the homeowner with builder's approval and signature on the appropriate line on the Incentive Application Form. Homeowners building their own home are considered the builder if there is no other professional home builder involved.
Should my heating dealer be heat pump certified?
Duke Energy recommends that your HVAC technician have a current heat pump and/or gas furnace certification with Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES) or North American Technician Excellence (NATE). Heating systems installed by a certified technician helps to ensure maximum efficiency, comfort, and reliability.
Why is duct insulation important?
Exposed ductwork in your attic or garage can lose up to 50% of the energy supplied by your heating and cooling system. Ask your heating dealer where your ducts are located. If they are in an unconditioned area such as the attic, we recommend you or your contractor cover these ducts with at least six inches of insulation.
Is a qualifying gas furnace eligible for the air conditioning incentive?
A new 90% or higher gas furnace combined with a new qualifying air conditioner will qualify for both rebates provided the new air conditioner is 14 SEER or greater and the new furnace includes an ECM fan. You can also qualify for both rebates if you choose a new, qualifying heat pump in combination with your qualifying gas furnace.
Instead of buying an air conditioner, purchase an “add-on” heat pump. There is no heating technology that is more efficient than the heat pump during most winter temperatures. In a dual-fuel system, the energy saving heat pump is used for 60% or more of your total heating load and your gas furnace, which costs more to operate, is used only on the coldest days.
How much can I save with a new Smart Saver heat pump?
Open this link for Estimated Smart Saver Savings. Savings are illustrative only; Duke Energy does not guarantee savings.
If you'd like additional information on how much you may save with a new Smart Saver heating system, see the following. Our Personalized Energy Report (PER)™ provides estimated energy savings if you upgrade your heating system or air conditioner. A more detailed discussion on the heating costs for your home can be found at Heating Costs & Comparisons. This site also contains links to current fuel rates and heating cost estimates for most common heating systems.
How do I apply for a Smart Saver rebate?
Your Participating Heating Dealer will submit your Incentive Application for you and will provide the necessary details that will allow your new system to qualify.
When can I apply for Smart Saver rebates on a new home?
You can submit an application for Smart Saver rebates on a new home after both of these events have occurred: 1) the HVAC system including the outdoor unit is fully installed and working, 2) the new home has the electric meter installed on the home.
Does Duke Energy offer a special rate for electric heat customers in Ohio?
There is no special rate tariff for electric heat customers. However, Duke Energy’s current winter residential rate includes a lower rate step after a certain amount of electricity is used each month. In an average home, most electric heating will occur in this lowest rate step. This lower cost per kWh for heating has been used in the above link for Estimated Smart Saver Savings.
What types of residential HVAC refrigeration systems qualify for Smart Saver® incentives?
The following residential refrigeration technologies qualify for incentives assuming the matched components achieve 14 SEER, can be verified with an AHRI reference number and include an ECM fan motor for the home’s air distribution system: Heat Pump (HP) or AC split systems, HP or AC single package (self contained) systems, geothermal heat pumps including direct geoexchange systems.
The following systems do not qualify for incentives regardless of the size of unit or the efficiency - Through the wall room HP or AC, Window HP or AC, Mini Split HP or AC, Portable HP or AC, and Evaporative AC.
Smart $aver® is a trademark of Duke Energy Corporation or one of its affiliates.