Energy Upgrade California™ Home Upgrade Frequently Asked Questions

Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade is a statewide program that offers rebates to homeowners who take a whole-home approach to energy efficiency instead of focusing on individual improvements. Heating, air conditioning and water heating all work together to help you live comfortably while lowering your utility bills.

 
  • The Home Upgrade option offers up to $2,500 in rebates. It focuses on sealing up leaks and improving the shell of a house, keeping a home comfortable inside and lowering energy bills. For example, instead of simply replacing your air conditioning unit, you can get assistance with other issues that may be preventing you from being comfortable. Upgrades could include attic, wall, and floor insulation, duct sealing, AC and furnace replacements and window replacements, as well as other improvements.
  • Homeowners must choose three or more measures from a flexible menu of options, including one basic measure. Each measure has an assigned number of points, with bonus points for additional basic measures. The more points, the higher the rebate.

Category UpgradeTechnical SpecificationsPoints
Base Measures
(1 or more)
Duct Sealing Seal to ≤10% for existing systems 25
Duct Replacement Seal to ≤6% for replacement ducts 65
Whole Building Air Sealing ≥15% leakage reduction from vintage table defaults 25
Whole Building Air Sealing ≥30% leakage reduction from vintage table defaults 45
Attic Insulation & Air Sealing Insulation ≥R-30 (≥R-38 in climate zones 1 & 11-16) 55
Attic Insulation & Air Sealing Insulation ≥R-44 65
Base Measure Kickers 2nd Base Measure Total of two base measures 15
3rd Base Measure Total of three base measures 20
Flex Measures Wall Insulation Insulate ≥R-1 50
Floor Insulation Insulate ≥R-19 70
Duct Insulation Insulate ≥R-8 40
Furnace ≥92% AFUE 60
Furnace ≥95 AFUE 70
Air Conditioner ≥14 SEER/12 EER 65
Air Conditioner ≥15 SEER 75
Gas Storage Water Heater EF ≥0.67 35
Gas On-Demand Water Heater EF ≥0.82 90
Electric Storage Water Heater EF ≥0.93 40
High Efficiency Window SHGC 0.22 or less - U-Factor 0.28 or less 70
Wall Heater ≥70 AFUE 40
 
  • The Advanced Home Upgrade option offers up to $6,500* in rebates. It goes beyond sealing up a building’s shell by providing more in-depth energy savings, as well as improved home comfort and enhanced indoor air quality. Homeowners who participate in the Advanced Home Upgrade option receive a thorough home inspection and special testing to identify ways that they can maximize energy savings.
  • Rebates are calculated using energy modeling software and are based on energy savings. You can receive up to $6,500* in rebates.
  • Advanced Home Upgrade projects may include improvements in the Home Upgrade option, in addition to hardwire lighting, whole house fans, water heater systems, cool roof and other customized upgrades.
  • PG&E customers with a single-family, detached home.
  • Two-four unit buildings qualify for Advanced Home Upgrade only.
  • Customers with a single fuel source (gas only, electric only) will only receive a portion of the rebate based on their PG&E service.

 

Participating contractors have been trained in the whole-house approach to energy efficiency and many are BPI certified, which ensures a certain level of knowledge about ways to make a home more energy efficient. Only participating contractors can submit the paperwork necessary to reserve your program rebate.

Both can perform a full assessment of your home and submit the required paperwork to the program on your behalf. Only a participating contractor, however, can do the actual installation work. If you choose to use a rater to perform testing and job documentation for you, you can choose from among participating contractors to perform the actual installation work.

  • For Home Upgrade, rebates are calculated using points. Each measure has a designated point amount. The more points, the higher the rebate. With Home Upgrade, you can get up to $2,500 in rebates.
  • For Advanced Home Upgrade, rebates are calculated using energy savings. Contactors use energy modeling software to project how much energy your home will save with your selected upgrades. The more energy you save, the higher the rebate. With Advanced Home Upgrade, you can receive up to $6,500* in rebates.
  • The Home Upgrade program is available throughout the entire PG&E territory. Customers who reside in the nine Bay Area counties (Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin counties) should contact the Bay Area Regional Energy Network at bayren.org.
  • Advanced Home Upgrade is available throughout the entire PG&E territory, including the Bay Area.

The cost of Home Upgrade varies depending on the selected measures, location and participating contractor. Financing is available for Home Upgrade.
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The amount of work varies depending on the measures you select. For safety purposes, contractors will perform certain tests before and after performing the work. To see an example of a Home Upgrade, watch the Esquers receive a Home Upgrade on Energy House Calls.
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Appliance combustion safety testing is a test that your participating contractor will perform prior to beginning your Home Upgrade and then later when the work is complete. The purpose is to keep your family safe from exposure to dangerous gasses. It includes testing for gas leads in your gas lines and CO2 leaks from gas appliances. If leaks are found, repairs will need to be made before the Home Upgrade work begins.

Contractors interested in participating in Home Upgrade can take part in a free orientation workshop. Learn more at builditgreen.org.

*$6,500 rebate is available as of August 1, 2014. This rebate may be eligible for a higher incentive for significant energy savings. Work with your participating contractor or rater to calculate your upgrade's rebate.
  • Federal government agencies incentives
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Take the Business Energy Checkup