For homeowners interested in utilizing the sun’s natural power to be used for residential electricity consumption, there are more initiatives and funding available than ever before. Putting up the substantial costs for the initial installation is out of reach for most homeowners but what many people don’t know is there are many options available to help offset those up-front costs and make solar energy a possibility for every household. Many states provide grant funding to support residential consumers in making the switch or supplementing their current power supply.
How Does Solar Energy Benefit Us?
The true benefits of solar power vary depending on what it is being used for, level of consumption, and the expectations of the homeowner. There is the general benefit that affects us all: decreased pollution from decreased use of utility power. Electricity, natural gas, and propane all produce pollution at varying degrees. Solar power is one of the few energy sources that produce no pollution after the initial creation of the solar panels.
Solar panel systems are best paired with a concerted effort to reduce energy consumption and wasted energy (remember the light you left on when you went to work?) This helps keep costs feasible and reasonable in installing a power system to meet your level of consumption. With residential solar grants, your home can begin utilizing this environmentally-friendly technology at little or no cost to you.
Where do I find Government Solar Grants?
Government solar grants are technical or financial assistance offered to homeowners and businesses to help offset the substantial upfront costs of solar panel installation. More and more states are beginning to offer domestic solar power grants for state residents who need financial or technical assistance. States like New York, Montana, Minnesota, and Washington are just a few of the states establishing programs specifically targeting homeowners and low-income populations. For detailed information and a state-by-state breakdown of benefits available for homeowners, check out DSIRE’s database (http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/) for a breakdown of the benefits available to you.
Where do I find Federal Solar Grants?
Federal financial assistance for solar energy comes primarily in the form of substantial tax rebates or deductions available for the amount of money you spend toward the installation of a solar power system. These green energy tax credits are better than ever and until 2016, homeowners can take advantage of an uncapped 30% federal tax credit (Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit) for residential solar electricity and solar hot water systems. The 30% credit can be used for labor and equipment costs and is even transferrable to later tax years if you are unable to use the full credit in the current year the system was installed.
Where do I find Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Grants?
To begin the search for residential solar grants, your first stop should be at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, or EERE for short. (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/solar/financial_opportunities.html) Here you can find a comprehensive database with current opportunities, past opportunities, and the ability to subscribe to an e-mail reminder when new opportunities become available. Under the DOE’s Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP) technical and financial assistance are made available for a variety of solar energy purposes.
If you’re a homeowner looking to supplement or replace your power grid with renewable, clean energy, make sure to research all the potential benefits and grants available to you. Costs continue to decrease as demand increases but you don’t have to wait! Take advantage of the opportunities of government and state grants and assistance and make solar power your go-to source for clean energy.