Going Green at Home to Get More Green
There is $300 million floating around in a federal rebate program that started last month hoping to motivate consumers to trade in their energy-hogging appliances for more efficient models.
Despite whether or not you are going to get your hands on some of that $300 million, there are other ways to save money while making a home more energy efficient.
Home owners should be looking at programs in their own back yard — the state and local governments programs — that offer homeowners a break when they buy new appliances, insulate or install alternative energy sources like solar or wind power.
Additionally, the Times reported, that the federal government increased its two tax credits to help pay for more efficient heating, cooling and water-heating equipment, as well as wind, solar and geothermal systems and fuel cells.
The programs available to homeowners are pretty vast, with with some states dumping hundreds of million of dollars into certain programs and through utilities, said Justin Barnes a policy analyst at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, or DSIRE.
"The tricky part is finding all these programs," Barnes told the AP.
The DSIRE lists all available incentives and rebate programs by state on its web site.
The greening of American homes saves consumers money, protects the environment and helps stimulate the broader economy. By adding more insulation to the attic and walls, for example, homeowners can cut their heating consumption up to half. And whether homeowners tackle projects themselves or hire professionals, that spending helps retailers, manufacturers and ripples through other industries.
Despite being enticed by these rebates, homeowners may still have to shell out thousands of dollars to make energy efficient improvements, and that might be a tough decision in our current economic state.