Renewable energy sources are an increasingly popular means of decreasing energy consumption and reducing dependence upon fossil fuels. Going green, however, costs a lot of money and may be out of reach for individuals, small companies and farms, despite how much they would like to do their part for the environment. That is why the government is offering green grants and cash-back reward incentives for homes, businesses and organizations converting to renewable energy methods.
This green grant money comes majorly from federal money allocated to renewable energy initiatives at state levels, but many states also have surcharges on utility bills, often referred to as benefit charges, and funds which are used as a source for alternative energy grant funding.
The exact amounts of green grants vary from state to state and city to city and the percentage of total project costs covered by a grant can vary from 15% to 100%. Most grants however cover about 50%, helping to offset the costs of installing or investigating renewable energy systems. That means that individuals getting an initial assessment, or who are implementing changes in their current systems, can have at least some of their expenses subsidized by a green grant. Home owners looking to convert their electric or hot water systems to solar powered ones are excellent candidates for these free green grants.
Green grants are important and available because the government wants to support and develop new methods of green energy that are not able to compete in current markets because of the cost of conversion. Because of their importance green grant applications are usually processed quickly and can be submitted each month.
Both small and large business owners can also take advantage of the green grants offered and get their business more energy efficient. These business owners are eligible for additional green grants targeted at businesses, such as the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This program is government funded and acknowledges that many rural areas are expensive to bring energy to. Thus REAP gives grants to many farms and small businesses to invest in green energy such as biomass (the conversion of organic waste or produce into energy), solar, wind, water and geothermal technologies.
While there are few private funding sources for green grants, there is one that can’t be overlooked: the Kresge Foundation. This foundation has been offering grants under their Green Building Initiative Program for large construction projects specifically geared toward planning and design. This fund values environmental conservation and thus helps fund building projects with sustainable environmental initiatives.