The Rural Energy For America Program (REFAP) offers loans and grants to rural businesses and individual farmers interested in making energy savings. The program supports the purchase of energy efficient appliances, renewable energy systems, and offers grants for energy auditing and other renewable energy development. For individuals and small business, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and various state and local governments offer a variety of financial assistance programs for energy efficiency improvement. There are many ways to save money on energy costs. In this article, we will focus on one small step: generating your own electricity from renewable resources like wind or solar power.
Best ways to power your home with renewable energy
Unfortunately, the cost of installing a home energy efficient system to save you money on energy bills is not a “one-time” investment. You must continue to maintain and replace your energy efficient appliances over time in order to save money on your overall energy bill. Even if your current energy usage only requires a few changes to improve your home’s energy efficiency, in the long run you will spend more money than you originally intended to by purchasing new and larger appliances and more expensive green energy production equipment.
Some states like California, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon have specific laws and regulations regarding the use of renewable resources like solar and wind power for residential and commercial purposes. The Federal government has many programs to support green energy production, but most of these involve federal funding, grants, and various programs that require utility companies to buy a certain percentage of their energy from clean sources such as wind and solar. Unfortunately, there are no nationwide efforts to promote the widespread use of clean energies at the state level. But there are initiatives at the city and county level that are working to increase the percentage of city and rural residents who are familiar with renewable energy sources. Even so, the reality is that most people cannot make a decision to purchase a small solar panel or install a large solar array on their home without some help.
Government agencies can provide some of the incentives for individuals who want to start renewable energy projects. Incentives are available for low-income and minority families to convert old, inefficient, or dirty electric generation facilities to newer, cleaner burning facilities that use renewable energy or natural gas or electricity generated from fossil fuels. These incentives may also be available for building and remodeling projects that allow the increased use of efficient appliances and transmission lines. The Clean Air Act, created by President Nixon, is one example of an environmental law that offers substantial rebates, tax credits, and other monetary benefits for improvements that reduce air pollution and encourage environmentally responsible development and construction of buildings. Many of these tax credits are currently being used to encourage builders to use efficient heating and cooling systems, demand less energy in high-traffic areas, and build green infrastructure. Some states also offer financial credits to businesses that use solar energy, wind power, or hydroelectricity as a way to reduce their carbon emissions.
Renewable electricity supply
There are several federal government programs that offer grants for individual homeowners who wish to convert their homes to a more energy efficient multi-fuel stove system or build a solar energy system on their property. Several utility companies offer some incentive programs for the installation of green energy sources like wind power and geothermal systems. Some states offer a rebate or “green” utility rate if the utility customer purchases a certain percentage of their energy from a renewable power generating facility or from someone that is using solar or wind energy. However, many such facilities and companies have been unable to profitably provide the services they promised to their customers. As a result, these companies often have to accept a percentage of their income from customers who choose to pay the higher cost for the service.
In addition to federal and state programs, there are also a number of private organizations that offer financial support to individuals who wish to convert to an energy efficient home or increase the size of their current home through modernizing its heating and cooling systems. These organizations often have an interest in helping the large numbers of people who have decided to explore the possibility of living more sustainably and in an environmentally friendly manner. In some cases, these organizations will help the homeowner to develop a complete alternative energy generating system that can be installed on the property. In many instances, these organizations will finance the costs of converting the existing homes into an eco-friendly multi-fuel operation. Many times, the renewable power generated by the system does not have to be offset against the income of the homeowner, in order to be eligible for such financing.