All-Electric Lawn Care

Member co-ops are working to electrify Indiana, but some consumers are hesitant to go all-in with electric cars and other big-ticket purchases.

But an electric lawnmower, leaf blower or string trimmer?

With a little nudge, co-ops think the average consumer is willing to try these lower-commitment products. So Hoosier Energy came up with that nudge — the Electric Lawn Equipment Pilot Rebate Program, which rolls out this month.

“We’re working toward behavior change so consumers view electric products favorably,” said Blake Kleaving, Manager of Energy Management Solutions. “The goal is to help member-consumers adopt additional electric products in their home.”

The program works like this: Each co-op will be allotted $5,000. Member-consumers who purchase an electric push lawnmower, string trimmer or leaf blower can complete an application (with paid invoice, receipt or proof of purchase) to submit to their co-op. They will receive a rebate of 50 percent of the purchase price with a maximum rebate of $50. The rebates will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted for each co-op.

To help get the word out quickly and easily a multi-pronged marketing program has been created in-house and is available for use, including a flyer, social media posts, web banners, bill stuffers, member co-op details, talking points and the application.

“We’re one of maybe 10 or 15 places in the country doing this,” Kleaving said. “I’m pretty excited, and I think the members are, too.”

The results of the pilot program will be assessed in the fall and sent to the Managers’ Association, which will then vote on whether to expand the program or to discontinue it.

The benefits of electric lawn equipment are many. You don’t have to have gas on hand and there’s no oil to change. They’re easy to get started, run quietly and are odor-free. Not to mention they’re better for the environment.

This pilot program gives member-consumers a chance to see the advantages for themselves, perhaps inspiring them to imagine a future without gasoline.

“It might be a string trimmer today, but tomorrow it may be an electric heat pump and, later, an electric vehicle,” said Kleaving. “More and more the membership will see that the technology coming up is electric-centered. This pilot program helps us get our foot in the door.”