When outside temperatures drop, residential electric consumption can go up because air conditioning units work harder to warm homes than cool them. And if you own an older heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, you could be in for some high utility bills this winter.

Upgrading to an energy efficient heat pump would not only bring you monthly savings but could also qualify for an OUC residential rebate.

Some people are confused by the term “heat pump,” thinking it only heats homes. Such an AC system would have virtually no appeal in Florida. But a heat pump cools or warms homes by transferring heat. In hot months, a heat pump removes warm indoor air and pumps it outdoors while in cold months it does the opposite. Yes, heat energy is present even when it’s cold outside. Heat pumps are recommended for areas with mild winters, like Florida.

OUC offers rebates of $90 to $1,630 to electric customers who install heats pumps with a 15 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER) or greater. Upgrading to a 15 SEER or higher unit from a 10 SEER system could result in an annual energy savings of up to 33 percent.

To apply for a rebate, have your AC/heating contractor provide a copy of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Certificate or the AHRI Reference number. Model numbers for both the indoor and outdoor unit must be included on the invoice.

Click here for terms and conditions of OUC rebates.