There is an enormous amount of information about clean energy available at the click of a few tabs on the internet. And there have been many initiatives in America to help people change to more efficient and cleaner energy for their homes and offices.
But how much will it all cost to change? And how much can you expect to save?
What help can you get in your location?
And where do you start?
Local Factors are Crucial
So much depends upon where you live. What are the existing federal, state, and local policies which influence how easy it might be to make energy efficient changes? While there are many helpful schemes, there is also some discouraging news. It helps if you are aware of your current situation.
You will need information on the possible help with financing your initiative. Also about the local contractors who can carry out the installation for you.
All this can be a bit daunting. So, what might be the first steps to take?
North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (DSIRE
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center (DSIRE) which is at present an open and free resources for information about clean energy. It gives comprehensive information about policy and incentives. The federal funding which it has relied on for 20 years has now been withdrawn and it is debatable as to how long they will be able to offer their services and expertise. But it is an excellent starting point when you are trying to understand what might be available for you.
You will need to study what is available in your area, compare prices and effectiveness before making a decision. And indeed, it all seems very complicated, hedged as it is with local customs and laws as well as national interests. Added to which things are changing as the political climate changes
Knowing Where to Get Information
Wherever you live there is plenty of help available.
You will need to have an idea of the resources available in your area. The easiest way to find out is to use this map to check out your local incentives and benefits.
This will not only tell you about incentives and tax benefits but also point you in the direction of cost comparisons with local companies. By simply putting in your postcode you can get detailed information relevant to you.
Not every state is included in this map, but you can go directly to this map for information if your state has no information there.
There is a huge range of differences in how states gain their power. One example comes from Louisiana and Arkansas which have virtually no wind power while the next-door state of Kansas has the highest wind penetration of any state (36%). This crude illustration shows how the local rules really do govern how easily you will find the transfer into clean energy.
Tax Deductions and Credits
There are various grants and benefits available. This includes the Residential Alternative Energy Tax Deduction which is for residential properties which want to use biomass energy source and includes biomass devices including a pellet stove or EPA-certified wood stove.
And then there is the Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit, again for residential properties and helps finance clean energy installed, including wind and solar energy.
You will need to check what is available in your locality. A good contractor should be able to help you with this.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE
America is blessed with plenty of clean sources of energy: wind, sun, water and geothermal. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)is working hard to provide innovative technologies. These will make the transformation to renewable energy sources as cost effective as the old-fashioned use of fossil fuels.
The department announced $53 million for solar energy projects across 21 states. It also announced $46 million to help prevent sabotage of the grid system including cyber-attacks. While much of the research is benefiting grander schemes, at the moment, demand from potential clients who just need small-scale renewable energy will force the prices down. Already, the cost of clean energy is very competitive for you. And an increasing number of American citizens are concerned enough about our climate to make the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources for their homes and businesses.
Your Own Learning Will Help You
But it does help if you yourself have some knowledge about renewable energy. You might like to examine the courses available here. These not only help you understand the jargon and the basic facts about clean energy, but they also help you understand how to calculate the cost. This is a useful skill when dealing with contractors.
Once you have decided to invest in renewable sources of energy you can find plenty of help and advice. But you will need to invest a certain amount of time in working out the best option for you. Many of the companies will do most of the work for you, and it is certainly worth comparing their offers.
Remember that certain states give more practical advice than others. And also that some homes are not suitable for some forms of renewable energy. Local factors make a huge difference as to how much help, financial as well as practical, you are entitled to. And once you understand how the different energy sources work, you will be in a better position to make good choices.
So then, your first steps must be to check your local scene, find out what incentives are available and make sure your contractor understands the local regulations.
If you have a basic understanding of what is involved you will be in a better position to make an informed choice. In addition, your contractor should find it easier to talk through the various options open to you.
Going clean is not too difficult with all the help available. It will repay you not only financially but also with the knowledge that you have made an important investment in the future.