Know Your State Green Remodeling Initiatives

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ July 27, 2010

By now, most of you know all about the ENERGYSTAR programs that can bring tax credits for green remodeling if the products are purchased by the end of this year. But there are plenty of other incentives around the U. S. for doing green remodeling. And some states and municipalities have their own provisions and covenants that apply to sustainable projects.

That's why you should get acquainted with the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is jointly managed by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and the North Carolina Solar Center.

The DSIRE website provides a one-of-its-kind comprehensive listing of each state's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency databases, along with federal initiatives. You can search your home state for corporate tax credits for business energy, green building incentives for homeowners, non-profit grants, performance-based incentives, personal tax-credit programs, state loans and grants, state rebate programs, and utility grants/loans/rebates.

There are also listings of related programs and initiatives (alternative fuels, green power, weatherization assistance, and wind power alternatives).

Find State Building Codes and Regulations for Remodeling

Many state listings on DSIRE's map-driven site also show selected state and municipal building codes, contractor licensing information, net metering, solar access, and public-benefits funding in your area. DSIRE also list the federal financial incentives for corporate and personal energy efficient projects, including tax credits, personal exemptions, appliance or equipment standards, and performance-based incentives.

DSIRE also has a library of publications and research findings by the DSIRE staff for those interested in solar, wind, photovoltaic, net metering, and other energy alternative or energy-efficiency options. Many of the publications are organized by states, so you can round up pertinent information for incentives in your region. Incentives are updated on the site every two months.

I appreciated the DSIRE glossary that elaborates on bond programs, grant and loan programs, Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, rebate programs, the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) programs, and utility rate discounts.

To say it once more, the federal tax credits through the end of 2010 apply to qualified replacement windows, doors, appliances, air conditioning systems and units, roofing, insulation materials, and other items that you buy for installation by December 31. Credits are made on a per-material basis, so you can receive credits for more than one ENERGYSTAR-compliant product that meets the criteria.

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