Replacing appliances or business equipment destroyed by Superstorm Sandy? There's a big financial incentive if you invest in energy efficient items.

Sandy damage in Highlands (Hope For Highlands)

State Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Commissioner Joseph Fiordaliso says the program enhances rebates already being offered through the Office of Clean Energy by as much as $200.

"For example, if someone lost a gas hot water heater and replaced it with an Energy Star hot water heater, the normal rebate would be $300. We've increased that by $200 so they would get a rebate of $500. The idea being that if they are replacing these items due to the storm that we might as well increase that incentive to give them the opportunity to buy an energy efficient replacement."

Fiordaliso says the program not only covers residents but businesses, industries, school districts and municipalities as well. He says It would work the same way by replacing business appliances and equipment with certain types of energy efficient ones.

There are certain zip codes that are eligible for the enhanced rebates, but Fiordaliso says there are other areas of the state that also sustained storm-related damage and flooding who can also participate in the program.

He says you can find out online if you're located in the eligible zip codes, exactly what items are listed where rebates are available and what the amount of those rebates are.

Fiordaliso explains that the program is effective back to October 29, 2012 and will be available until the funding is exhausted. However, he says they're proposing to extend the enhanced incentives into fiscal year 2014.

The program came about in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. He says Governor Christie directed every state department and agency to identify areas where they could assist in the effort to rebuild.