Heartland’s energy efficiency and economic development programs remained popular with customers in 2015 and in order to ensure we continue to offer the best programs possible, we have made a few changes to our offerings for 2016.

The goal of Heartland’s energy efficiency rebate program is to encourage the purchase and use of the most efficient products available to replace older, inefficient products. LED is by far the most efficient lighting technology available, and has become more affordable over the past several years. Therefore, Heartland’s commercial lighting rebates will now only be offered on new LEDs that are replacing older technologies. Upgrades to T8s and T5s will no longer be listed on our applications; however, customized lighting rebates will still be available.

Two new categories have been added to our Energy Star appliance rebate program. Electric clothes dryers only recently became eligible to earn the Energy Star label and Heartland will offer a $50 rebate for residents who make the upgrade. Dehumidifiers with the Energy Star label are also now eligible for a $25 rebate for residential customers.

Residents who upgrade lighting to LED will still be eligible for rebates in the new year, but screw in LED bulbs are now only eligible for a $3 rebate and LED recessed cans or retrofit kits are eligible for $5. All lights must be Energy Star rated and each household may only receive a maximum lighting rebate of $100 per year.

Residents who purchase a lifetime warranty electric water heater may have to take one more step to qualify for Heartland’s rebate in 2016. Marathon water heaters no longer come with a lifetime warranty. Instead, they are purchased with a ten-year warranty, but homeowners can upgrade to a lifetime warranty for free by registering the water heater online within 90 days of installation. Proof of this registration will be required to receive the rebate on a Marathon water heater.

All changes outlined take effect January 1, 2016. All applications have been updated accordingly and are available on our website at hcpd.com/forms-applications/.

Industrial park development will be a new area of focus for Heartland’s economic development program in 2016. For our South Dakota customers, this includes helping them achieve the state’s Certified Ready Site status and assisting with the application process. Our economic development grant funding is available for the necessary upfront legal, engineering, and environmental costs. It is also available to help with infrastructure development in these industrial parks. In order to compete for new or expanding businesses, it’s important for a community to have an industrial park that can easily and quickly accommodate their needs. A Certified Ready Status also increases the community’s exposure with various real estate developers and site selectors on both a state and national level.

Heartland will also be looking to partner with economic development officials in attending various trade shows that will help promote our customer communities. This is also a good opportunity to network with site selectors, developers, and business owners who are looking to expand in our region. We would attend shows focusing on industries that each state is targeting in their own efforts.

Heartland’s existing programs, including our grants, growth incentives and HELP loan, will remain the same in 2016.