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Startup pays contractors rebates upfront to remove wait time for energy-efficient upgrades: 'We've submitted over a million dollars of rebates'

"Our number of projects really took off."

"Our number of projects really took off."

Photo Credit: Sealed

It's been about two years since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was passed, promising to offer financial incentives for energy-efficient upgrades across the U.S. Now, as some states prepare to dispense these funds, one company aims to simplify the process and pay these rebates upfront, as reported by Bloomberg.

The company is called Sealed, and it's spent the last decade developing programs to support the home energy retrofit market. Last year, the company launched a pilot program specifically for contractors in California called Sealed Pro

Previously, applying for rebates required lots of paperwork, and quantifying the energy savings was a complex task, the report detailed. Now, with Sealed Pro's smartphone app, contractors can get those savings estimates in as little as three minutes. 

The IRA had set aside what amounts to around $8,000 in rebates for each household if they made some of these changes to their homes. With Sealed Pro, contractors are incentivized to inform customers about clean energy tech, and both can see the financial benefits quickly, driving adoption. 

The state has already begun disincentivizing new construction projects that plan to use dirty fuels like natural gas. At the same time, it's been offering rebates to homeowners willing to trade grass for drought-resistant plants in an effort to conserve water.

Heat pumps, weatherization projects, and other green technologies are an important way for homeowners to save money in the long run and lessen the strain on the electrical grid. All of this will help California in reaching its net-zero goals by 2045. 

It seems to be working. The state's Tri-County Regional Energy Network (3C-REN), which is a partnership between Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties, has noted an uptick in contractors installing heat pumps specifically. 

April Price, single family program manager for 3C-REN, shared some of those details with Bloomberg. Sealed Pro "just lowers barriers to entry for contractors, which is shown in the numbers," she said. 

After it launched, "our number of projects really took off," Price said. She estimated that Sealed accounted for around 46% of new home energy-efficiency projects submitted.

Lauren Salz, co-founder and CEO of Sealed shared that benefits for contractors and homeowners are already rolling in. "We've submitted over a million dollars of rebates just in this one program in California over the past five months," she said in the report. 

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