Here at Attainable Home, we’re all about being eco-friendly and saving energy. However, did you know that there are actually incentive programs throughout the United States to help encourage energy-efficient homes and buildings?
Throughout the USA, there are incentives for installing insulation in a home. You can get tax deductions, tax exemptions, grants, loans, rebates, and other financial incentives just for having your home be more energy-efficient. It also depends on Utility companies, local, state, in addition to federal tax programs.
There can be some nice benefits that come with installing insulation in your home. Before jumping into the installation process, it can be helpful to know more about the incentives available if you do add insulation to your home.
What Is Insulation?
Insulation is any material that is used to fill in the spaces between/behind walls, and even in attics, to reduce heat flow. It can do this because it either reflects heat or absorbs it.
Insulation in the empty space in your walls helps to separate the outside environment from the inside. It helps with temperature regulation, keeping hot air outside and cold air inside during the summer (and vice versa during the winter).
Another job of insulation is to slow heat flow between rooms in your house. By slowing down this movement of heat, you’re able to capture it in one location. You’re also able to keep the temperature consistent throughout the house.
Home Insulation Incentives Search
There are programs put in place across the United States to encourage more people to install energy-efficient features into their homes. These include nationwide initiatives such as Energy Efficiency Tax Credits/Deductions/Exemptions.
The best search tool to find energy efficiency incentives nationwide is the DESIRE USA website, created and maintained by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center.
These programs also include various statewide energy efficiency programs that offer rebates, loans, and grants as incentives. Some of the programs are for specific cities. For example, there is an incentive program in Tampa for both commercial and residential buildings which offers rebates for those buildings that are energy-efficient.
Here are some examples of the types of incentives you can get from the state of Florida (and some of the cities, if you happen to live there):
- Personal Tax Credits
- Personal Tax Exemptions
- Rebate Programs
- Loan Programs
- Grant Programs
- Green Building Incentives
- PACE Financing
- Utility Rebate Programs
- Manufacturer Rebates
How Can I Get These Incentives?
While each of the incentives is a little bit different, you can typically find instructions online about how to apply for each. Some of them are going to be completed through a private business or company. Others will actually be completed on a federal level, and some may need to be included when you file your taxes.
One of the first steps to get these incentives can be to have an energy audit. An energy audit is actually an incentive in itself and can prove to be really valuable in the long run, in terms of know what some of the low hanging fruit might be to start your energy efficiency journey.
There are utility providers that have been trained as energy efficiency consultants. These consultants can help customers to identify areas in their homes where they could make energy-saving and efficient improvements.
In some cases and some audit programs, customers are offered different tools to help look at their home’s energy efficiency level. These tools can also help a homeowner find efficiency upgrades that could potentially increase efficiency and be cost-effective as well.
There are a few different ways an energy audit can be conducted. Some of them are in-person walk-through inspections, while others are conducted online.
While insulation can’t be tested with a blower door test (unless it’s spray foam or has a direct sealing affect in the home), you can start with the air sealing and then insulation is usually in the next batch of the decision-tree process.
If a consultant comes to do an in-person, in-home audit, they will usually inspect and find various features of a home that could be more energy inefficient. They can help a customer to see things that they might have overlooked themselves. It’s always a good idea to get the professional opinion of a trained energy efficiency expert before making any big upgrades to your home. They can help save you time and money.
When you make home improvements to be more energy-efficient, you can earn incentives. But even better, you lower your utility bill in the process.