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3 Solar Financing Options Most Americans Don’t Know About

3 Solar Financing Options Most Americans Don’t Know About

Most people agree that in the long run, renewable energy is more affordable, secure, and better for the environment than any of the fossil fuels used to create power today.

For individuals and families, making the switch to renewable energy like solar, wind, or geothermal can have an immediate impact on the amount of money is costs to heat, cool and power a home, not to mention a significant increase in home value.

The catch? Until renewable energy is more widely adopted and connected via a nationwide smart grid, the upfront costs for installation and maintenance prevent most people from enjoying the benefits.

The good news is that there are a lot of options for solar financing available from both public and private agencies, you just have to know where to look.

Here are just three of the available government incentives for home solar systems in the U.S. Many were new to me, which ones are you surprised to see?

1. Tribal Energy Program Grant

Th DOE program provides financial and technical assistance to tribes to evaluate and develop their renewable energy resources and reduce their energy consumption through efficiency and weatherization. The program also offers education and training opportunities to help build the knowledge and skills essential for sustainable energy projects.

2. Rural Energy For America Program Grants

The Rural Energy For America Program Grants/Renewable Energy Systems/Energy Efficiency Improvement Program (REAP/RES/EEI) provides grants for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. It also provides funds to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis and can be up to 25 percent of total eligible project costs.

3. Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Consumers who install solar energy systems (including solar water heating and solar electric systems), small wind systems, geothermal heat pumps, and residential fuel cell and microturbine systems can receive a 30 percent tax credit for systems placed in service before December 31, 2016.

Related Reading:

Solar Energy Powers 1 Million Bangladeshi Homes

Communities Crowdsource Clean Energy With Solar Mosaic

Solar Power Without The Panels?


Former Sears Tower Will Generate Energy With Solar Windows

 

Image Credit: Flickr – joncallas

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44 comments

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5:25PM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Good to know that there's a rural option. Looking into wind energy for our little ranch. Trying to find out about solar right now for the hot water heater! Solar for the hot water heater in the city house would be a big help as well! Thanks for the article!

4:42PM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Thank You for the article !

10:04AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

There is also solar leasing.

11:29AM PST on Jan 25, 2012

Good info!

4:07AM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

hell yeah

12:31AM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Noted with interest.

9:53AM PDT on Jul 16, 2011

great article!

3:49PM PDT on Jul 13, 2011

THe tribal and rural options aren't going to work for many, but it's great that they're available.

9:42PM PDT on Jul 12, 2011

We cannot provide for a planet with people with unlimited population growth free birth control for everyone.

9:34PM PDT on Jul 10, 2011

You could spend thousands of dollars (even after tax credits and rebates) to cut your carbon footprint or you could save thousands of dollars, and go vegan! http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-greenhouse-hamburger

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Beth Buczynski Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in... more
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