Building Green – Government Incentives To Help You Get Started
There are many benefits to living in a green home, including reduced health risks, the knowledge that you’re making a difference for the environment, and reduced energy bills. However, you may not know that many state and local governments, as well as entities like utility companies are offering incentives for people to build green. This is occurring across north America, and the number of incentives keeps growing.
Some of the private and government incentives for building green include tax breaks, rebates, and more – just for adding ecologically friendly elements into your life. These incentives can help you get more ambitious green building projects off the ground.
Different states and provinces offer different incentives, as do different cities; a small number are limited to small tax breaks or other less desirable options. That means that every area is going to be a little different. Some are more favorable for green building, so it’s important to do your research.
The US government offers a number of incentives and tax breaks for people who upgrade their homes in ways that increase efficiency. These incentives are offered through the Energy Policy Act of 2005. More information can be found by looking up this act.
The EPA has a number of link for sources of funding available to green builders, at state and local levels as well as nationally. These incentives are available to homeowners, but also to people in industry or government organizations and non profit organizations. It’s possible to get tax credits, grants, loans and more for specific projects. For more information, visit www.epa.gov
Local incentives can be found by contacting local authorities or by online search as well. The DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency) can be used to find incentives at the federal, state, and local levels, and will also help you search for utility incentives for people who use renewable energy sources or more efficient practices. This non profit project gets its funding from the US Department of energy, via the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and the North Carolina Solar Center. For more information visit: www.dsireusa.org
You can find information about federal tax credits that can be earned just for using energy efficient appliances and other products, too. The Energy Star site, operated by the US government, tells home builders and consumers what they can get for switching to a better product. That means you’ll not only save on your energy bill – you’ll get a tax break, too.
The Government of Canada also offers incentives for green building and making energy efficient choices within your home. Environment Canada has a couple of incentives for those of you who choose to reduce your carbon footprint. The ecoENERGY Retrofit offers up to $5000 in rebates based on the quality of energy-saving improvements made in your home. The amount of money rewarded reflects the “size’ of your upgrade. (Think electric thermostats vs. solar hot water systems…) Visit www.ec.gc.ca for more info and more rebates.
There are a lot of options out there for people interested in building green. Government incentives, as well as benefits on the state and local level, make it easier to change your life to one that’s better for the environment. Take a look at all your options and find out what you’ve been missing. It could be enough to kickstart your green building project.