Green home grants are a great opportunity to receive an refund or rebate on some of the updates you make on your home. They must be used on items throughout your home that save energy and are less taxing on the environment. These grants act as incentives, encouraging consumers to choose these energy saving options on their home improvement projects.
Federal, state and local governments are the primary sources of green improvement grants for private residences. While private and corporate foundations also exist to encourage green and energy efficient modifications, these often go to nonprofits and local community groups for public buildings. If you are looking for a grant for your home, check your state and local housing development departments to see if they offer any incentives.
Grants generally cover a percentage or total of the cost of certain specified improvements, up to a certain maximum price. For instance, the Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency, as of October 2010, offered consumers a 30 percent rebate on home repairs that improved energy efficiency in the home, up to $1,500. Therefore, if you spend the maximum $1,500, you get $500 back. If you spend $900, you get $300. If you spend more than $1,500, you still only get $500. Every grant has a different percentage, up to 100 percent, and a different threshold.
Every grant has a specific listing of how the grant can be used, although they all fall under the general category of green home improvements. For example, the Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency, through 2010, includes roofs, heating, air conditioning, windows and ventilation. The iteration of this grant that runs through 2016 covers solar panel installation and residential wind turbines.
With these grants, there are often certain stipulations you must qualify for. For instance, you must often be the owner of the property. If you are renting a home, your landlord will have to be the one who purchases the upgrades and applies for the grant. Sometimes, such as in the case of the Long Beach Residential Improvement grants, the one who does the installation must be a certified contractor. Furthermore, the items you purchase for the improvements must often be certified Energy Star-rated products, to qualify for many of these grants.
While many of these grants are open to any home owner wanting to make upgrades, some are limited to low income or minority groups. Others are specifically created for seniors and elderly who may be less likely to make changes and upgrades on their older homes.