As public sentiment toward renewable and green energy alternatives begins to sweeten, more and more government programs have sprung up to encourage the use of these energy rebate programs. However, the availability of these programs to the general public doesn't mean that they are necessarily easy to find. In the end, it will take a little work if you want to learn how to find government energy rebate programs and tax incentives.
Locate Government Energy Incentives and Rebates
Government energy rebate programs can be found through various government and independent resources. It's important to not just limit yourself to searching on government websites for information about rebates since many rebates simply aren't listed on them. Due to budgetary concerns and other issues, some rebates just never make their way to government websites. Thankfully, there are more than enough independent sites offering information on how to get your hands on these rebates.
While there are many reliable non-government resources on energy rebate programs, it's always best to get your information straight from the government whenever possible. This information is guaranteed to be accurate and is hosted on official government websites.
- Energy Star Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency: Energy Star is a voluntary program initiated by the EPA that is directed at providing financial incentives to guide businesses and consumers toward energy efficient choices. The federal tax credit resource on the Energy Star website is a step-by-step explanation of what types of consumer energy investments qualify for tax incentives through Energy Star. It can be difficult to figure out what appliances or energy upgrades qualify you for rebates or other tax incentives. This site clearly identifies what is and is not included within the umbrella of this federal program.
- IRS Energy Incentives for Individuals in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: The IRS provides a page that details current and past incentives for making energy efficient choices. It outlines the various incentives that fall under this Act, like the Residential Energy Property Credit, and then links to the pages and forms that detail exactly what individuals need to do in order to receive the credit. Carefully read program dates, as some are not current. Updates are at the top of the page in italics for quick viewing.
- At the Energy.Gov Tax Rebates and Incentives Page, you'll find an expansive and detailed summary of many rebate programs offered by the government and utility companies, among others. Using this site, you can filter through programs by searching specifically for your state, for an appliance, or for a type of rebate you're interested in receiving.
- Additionally, you can check your state's government websites for information regarding their programs. Each state may list the program rebates through different departments, however, so you may have to do a little searching before you find the right resource. For example, in Maryland, the Energy Administration lists information; in Utah, the Office of Energy Development lists information; and in Pennsylvania, the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy lists information.
Independent, Non-Government Resources
Though it's always best to get information about rebates straight from the horses mouth, that doesn't mean it's not possible to find reliable information elsewhere. In truth, there are many independent resources available to help you learn about government energy rebate programs.
- Database of Energy Efficiency Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE): The DSIRE website is an absolute treasure-trove of state and federal energy rebate programs. The database that DSIRE has compiles is second to none and it includes very detailed information about government energy rebates and incentive programs available on the state and federal level. To look for state resources, all you have to do is click on your state using the responsive map of the United States that covers the homepage of their website. DSIRE is an extremely efficient, very informative website that acts as an excellent resource for all sorts of rebate programs. However, the site really shines as a resource for state incentive programs.
- ProudGreenHome.com: ProudGreenHome.com is setup differently than DSIRE and it takes on more of a magazine-style format. This site is best used by individuals who have more than just a passing interest in energy rebate programs. The site is constantly updated with current government energy rebate programs. These programs are often featured due to their seasonal relevance or because of a certain news story that may have brought the program into the limelight.
Proper Research Is Essential
It can be tough to navigate through the regulatory waters of government rebate programs. The rules can be so archaic and confusing that you may find the process to be a little frustrating. However, doing the proper research can help eliminate quite a lot of this aggravation. Using good resources make the entire process transparent, seamless, and very easy to understand, whether you are looking for solar rebates and credits or a rebate for purchasing an energy efficient appliance.