Are You Worried About Your Current (and Future) Oil, Gasoline, Electrical or Natural Gas Bills?
Would you be willing to try solar panels, wind technology or another renewable energy if you knew by doing so the technologies would eventually pay for themselves by vastly lowered utility bills, tax incentives, rebates and more? Well, they can, and here is a brief recap of what is available through the Federal and your State government.
Did you know the US Government Can Help?
A key part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (more commonly known as the "Stimulus Bill") involves a variety of energy-tax incentives and funding provisions for alternative energies, focusing on reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and encouraging renewable energy.
Under the legislation homeowners will into the next decade, continue to receive 30% off the cost of a home solar power system in the form of a federal tax credit. In addition, the legislation eliminated a prior cap of $2,000 for the tax credit. (For more information and specifics of the legislation's energy efficiency/renewable energy incentives, please visit http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index)
This is the Federal Government, so the guidelines of what is and is not covered are very strict, but the link cited above summarizes things very well, including tips on applying for the tax credit when filing your Federal income taxes. In addition to energy efficiency through energy star appliances, insulation and the like, it provides distinct benefits to those using the following technologies:
• Geothermal Heat Pumps
• Small Wind Turbines (Residential)
• Solar Energy Systems
• Solar Panels (Photovoltaic Systems)
• Fuel Cells (Residential Fuel Cell and Microturbine System)
Please note that the same politicians who are AGAINST cutting subsidies for big oil companies, would like to remove these incentives. Call your congressman/woman and senators and let them know how you feel about this.
Most States Help As Well
Nearly all states have tax or rebate incentives in one form or another that encourage residential and commercial customers to move towards renewable energy, including solar and wind technology. The variety of programs (and what is covered) varies greatly from state to state. While many of these states are recognized to be "sunny" or in the "sunbelt," many are not. Here is a partial list of states that have some of the best programs for residential consumers and commercial businesses.
• New Jersey
• New Mexico
What is Specifically Available In Your State? It's Surprisingly Easy to Find Out!
DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency "serves as the nation's most comprehensive, one-stop source of information on federal, state, local, and utility incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. DSIRE contains information on more than 2,200 programs and is accessible online for free at www.dsireusa.org."*
For all states, DSIRE provides a summary of programs available to residences and businesses as well as individuals to contact for additional information, and where you find details about the programs online.
Once you've decided that you are really serious about making the move towards renewable energy, you need to get several estimates and get a great contractor. This means a contractor with an impeccable reputation and a strong knowledge of the applicable Federal and State guidelines for energy efficiency and renewable technologies, as well as the mechanics of installing your chosen system. But that's a story for another time.
* Source: www.dsireusa.org
copyright 2011 AM McElroy/SolarFlairLighting.com
The information and views expressed in this blog post are solely those of the author and not necessarily those of RenewableEnergyWorld.com or the companies that advertise on this Web site and other publications. This blog was posted directly by the author and was not reviewed for accuracy, spelling or grammar.
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