A new program has been launched for Lodi Electric customers to cash in their rebates online.
For the past 13 years, Lodi residents earned cash back for purchasing energy-efficient appliances, whole house fans or air conditioning units from select stores in town. But residents had to mail in the rebate application or take it to a city office, then wait six weeks for a check in the mail.
With the new system, Business Development Manager Rob Lechner said, the rebate will be automatically credited to customers' electric bill.
The program was created by EnergyOrbit, and is backed by the city of Lodi and six other cities in the Northern California Power Agency. It went live on the department's website on March 4.
"For us it's a big week. This is a change from how it's typically been done for 13 years," said Lechner, who says his office processes about 10 to 15 rebates a week. Automating the process allows city employees to get on with other tasks.
The process is simple. Log on to www.lodielectric.com, click on the "For My Home" icon, then navigate to Online Energy Rebates and enter the information requested.
There are some restrictions. The credit goes directly to customer's electricity account, and cannot be for more than $300. Residents seeking higher amounts, or who want a check instead of a credit, have to apply the old-fashioned way.
Using the online process isn't mandatory. The city will still process any rebate applications that arrive in hard copy.
Lechner said more than 75 percent of rebate applications come in after a resident purchases an energy-efficient washer, dryer or other appliance. The rest are for other home upgrades like new attic insulation, window tinting or other projects.
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