Being frugal is about the effective use of your resources. Sometimes you have to spend money to make or save money. Have you ever thought about going green, installing a solar collector or a wind generator or maybe you just want to improve the efficiency of your home?
These projects can be very expensive which makes them hard for some to justify. If you are interested or planning on it there may be money available for the asking to help you do this. With a little effort you may find that some of the costs can be offset by local, state and federal loans, grants and/or rebates.
One of the more recently enacted opportunities is part of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This act includes tax credits for 30% of the materials cost up to $1,500 (installation is not included) may home improvements that result in greater efficiency including qualified*:
- HVAC – Heating and Cooling
- Water Heaters
- Windows and Glass Doors
The Federal Government also provides tax incentives for the installation of photovoltaic (solar), solar water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, small wind generators and fuels cells for up to 30% of the cost.
But that is not all, there are a host of local and state programs to provide low interest loans and rebates. Take a look at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
For example in you live in:
- Pennsylvania – you can borrow up to $35,000 for as long as 20 years with an interest rate as low as 3.875% for improvements that have been recommended as part of a home energy audit.
- Nebraska – you can borrow up to $75,000 for a range of efficiency improvement projects for up to 15 years for 5% or less in interest
- Tennessee – business owners can get a grant for 40% of the cost up to $75,000 for installation of solar systems
- Wisconsin – provides a $750 incentive to install a solar water heater or a rebate of .75 per KwH for the first year of output for photovoltaic’s
- Austin TX – pays an incentive of 3.75/W A/C up to 80% of invoiced cost with a cap of $50,000 for installation of photovoltaic’s
What do you think about renewable energy sources? Have you installed one of these systems and what advice would you give to someone that was thinking about it? Please leave a comment below.