Cleveland and Dominion East Ohio offering money to make home more energy efficient

CLEVELAND - Fed up with your winter heating bill this year? Programs throughout northeast Ohio can help you reduce that cost by improving your home.

If you are a Dominion East customer, you may qualify for these credits. The deal is even sweeter for Cleveland homeowners because the city is chipping in an additional 20 percent savings, but time is running out.

The old trees and old architecture give Cleveland neighborhoods character. The homes have good bones, but Mark DiDinato knows they need some modern updates.

"In order to stay competitive with newer housing stock, we want to make our homes more efficient," DiDinato said.

Programs are making energy efficient programs more affordable. DiDinato participated in the Cleveland Energy Saver program.

"Rather than having hot water stored in the tank, it heats water on demand whenever we need it now," DiDinato said. He added energy efficient appliances and insulation at a reduced cost.

"The 20 percent rebate from the city of Cleveland was amazing, and you also got money back from Dominion and the loan for the investment is low interest," DiDinato said.

He saved $3,000 off the top, plus DiDinato's energy bills instantly dropped 50 percent.

"We spent less money and our house was warmer this past winter, and it was a colder winter. So, it paid off," DiDinato said.

It's not just homeowners tracking their savings. The energy auditors monitor the impact.

"We are seeing savings from 30 to 40 percent once we do certain measures," Cleveland Housing Network Energy Auditor Thaddeus Nzomo said.

If you don't live in Cleveland, you can still save money as long as you are a Dominion East Ohio customer. Customers have already received $2 million in rebates through the Home Performance with Energy Star Program.

"It's too good to beat. You can't pass it up," DiDinato said.

The 20 percent discount for Cleveland homeowners runs out May 15 so you need to act fast. The program for all Dominion East Ohio customers will last until 2015.

With these programs, there is often a $50 fee for the energy audit, but if you make the improvements, you get that money back. The audit shows you where your home is losing energy.

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