Upgrade to $ave FAQs

Here are frequently asked questions regarding Roanoke Electric Cooperative Upgrade to $ave (U2$) program.

Explain the U2$ program
Upgrade to $ave is an energy efficiency program geared towards producing savings on member’s electric bill through upgrades i.e., improved insulation, duct and air sealing, heat pump improvement, water heater wrap, and LED lighting.
How is the program’s eligibility determined?
A free assessment of the home is scheduled with the member-owner for an auditor to evaluate energy efficiency and measures to be taken to improve efficiency. Homes free of energy- related repairs can move into the U2$ program with a blower door test, weatherization measures and heat pump installation. The Program Operator discusses eligibility per results of the assessment with member-owner. A member-owner is under no obligation to review and/ or accept an U2$ offer for energy efficiency upgrades.
Is Roanoke Electric “loaning” me money?
No. Roanoke Electric invests in your home’s energy efficiency by paying the upfront costs. Upgrade to $ave is not a loan program but a tariff-based program. No application required and no credit check. Roanoke Electric will recover the upfront costs through a fixed charge (tariff) on your bill that is significantly less than the estimated savings. The monthly tariff will start 45 days after the work is completed.
What if I move or sell my home?
Roanoke Electric’s cost recovery is tied to your meter where the upgrades are installed. The tariff is applied to any subsequent member-owner’s bill until the costs of the upgrades are recouped.
Are mobile homes eligible for participation in U2$?
Yes, if 25 years or less old, on a permanent foundation, wheels removed and hitch cut off.
Can member-owners who are renting request an U2$ assessment?
Yes, requesting a free assessment is no different from the homeowner, except the property owner has to agree to program participation and sign the Owner’s Agreement before work begins. A renter, as a homeowner, is under no obligation to review and/ or accept an U2$ offer for energy efficiency upgrades.
Do I already need to have a central HVAC system installed (working or not) in order to get a HVAC system installed through U2$?
An existing duct system is preferred but not mandatory. This is because ductless systems are offered through U2$, and in many cases, are less expensive to install (and operate) than traditional central HVAC systems. The best way to answer this question is “it depends.” This will be determined on a case-by-case basis during the assessment process.
What kinds of upgrades are available through the U2$ program?
  • Low flow shower heads
  • Water heater wraps
  • LED lights
  • HVAC upgrade
  • Insulation (blown-in)
  • Air sealing (caulking)
  • Duct sealing
  • Health and Safety (energy-related repairs i.e., leaky roof/ ceiling, weak floor, wall damage) may be covered under Roanoke Electric’s Solar Share Program. The Program Operator will discuss eligibility for this program along with the assessment results following the audit.
Are there any criteria that could prohibit my residence from U2$ participation?
Yes. The three major halts to proceeding with U2$ participation are: structural integrity of building not being sound; mold infestation requiring professional remediation; and home currently under major renovation and exposed to the outside. The auditor will determine if such circumstances exist during the assessment.
Can I get new windows, water heater and/or refrigerator through the U2$ program?
No. New windows never justify the cost in energy savings. The U2$ program does not cover appliances.
Who performs the work and does someone check the work to ensure it was done correctly?
Local contractors handle the U2$ upgrades through Roanoke Electric’s Program Operator. Yes, after completing the work, an assessment of the upgrades is conducted to ensure the U2$ measures yield the estimated savings.
How do I sign up? When is my home assessed?
Sign up is quick and easy through the assessment intake form. After submitting the online form, an assessment of the home is scheduled by our Program Operator.