One of our Facebook fans recently asked us if we could offer insights into the availability of grants to help fund energy-efficiency initiatives. The good news is, assistance is available; the bad news — particularly if you don’t have a lot time to spare — is that it takes effort to find these resources.
Getting grant money isn’t easy. It takes time and work to sort through the funding opportunities. Then, you have to fill out applications and write proposals — all with no guarantee of ever getting the grant.
But if you’re willing to put in the effort , here are a few basics:
What’s Available to Homeowners?
If you’re a homeowner looking to make your residence more energy efficient, no federal grant program exists — unless, of course, you qualify for the Weatherization Home Grant Program administered by state governments on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Designed to assist low-income Americans, the program provides such services as broken glass and door replacement, caulking windows and doors, weather stripping, and insulation. In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, which can help low-income families pay their utility bills.
If neither of these programs applies to you, a patchwork of state and local organizations offer energy-efficiency grants. To find one in your community, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE). It’s complete and exceptionally easy to navigate.
Businesses and Inventors
For inventors and small-business owners, the possibilities are a little brighter. If you’ve invented or would like to advance an energy-efficiency technology, you might be eligible for a DOE grant administered by the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE). EERE works with business, industry, universities, and others to increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture also offers grant programs to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses pay for energy audits and complete energy-efficiency improvements.
Don’t forget, too, to visit the federal government’s grants.gov, which is a one-stop shop for everything pertaining to grant opportunities.
These are just a few ideas on where to start. If you find an opportunity that might benefit others, please let us know. We’ll be happy to publicize it.
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