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Green Grants for Green Homes

by Grants.com
With rising energy costs and greater awareness of the impact on the planet, many homeowners are turning to energy alternatives to heat and power their homes. Unfortunately, it can be quite costly to build an energy efficient home or to retrofit an already existing home with solar panels, geothermal systems, or some other form of alternative energy. Because of this upfront expense, many people who might otherwise choose more environmentally friendly options for their homes find themselves discouraged by what they see as the insurmountable initial costs.



The good news is that many homeowners may qualify for a grant from their state or local government or local utility company that would assist them in the cost of installation of a solar, wind, or geothermal system.

Utility Grant Programs



Many local utility companies offer grants to assist the homeowner in the installation of solar water heating systems and solar heating. These grants often come in the form of interest-free loans; the availability and specific terms will vary from location to location and interested individuals should contact their utility provider to discover what is available locally and to determine their eligibility.

State Grant Programs



Most states have grants available to help the homeowner with alternative energy installation. As with the utility grant programs, the specific terms and eligibility requirements will vary from state to state. Interested individuals can find what grants are available in their own state, as well as other important information specific to their state. Some states limit their grant availability to those homeowners who meet a low-income requirement.

Federal Grants



Renewable energy grants at the federal level are typically limited to commercial and industrial properties, as well as schools and agricultural properties. However, federal tax incentives in the form of a rebate are available to the homeowner once the solar or wind system has been installed completely. The costs of the labor to install the system, as well as all associated materials, qualify for the rebate.

The Department of Energy offers home weatherization programs for low-income households. Although this program does not provide grants for alternative energy systems to be installed, it does offer assistance to households which meet certain financial criteria to help them reduce their energy costs, and consequently, reducing their use of fossil fuels.