Our governments, be they local, state or nationwide, encourage their citizens to use energy wisely. Whether it is the purchase of new appliances to save on energy usage or a buy-in for equipment to install a renewable energy source, the programs are administered by the local or state utility. The list of eligible items differs from state to state, but there is a website for consumers to check which items qualify for a rebate and the amount that will be paid back to the consumer. See https://openei.org and click on the Database that works in a similar fashion to Wikipedia's Wiki. Anyone can add information and an easy search is accomplished by selecting your state.
Since there are several main categories: one for residents, one for businesses, one for manufacturing, let's focus on the residential side because we all live somewhere.
There are a myriad of rebates for which you can apply, from the very large projects, such as installing equipment to source energy from renewable resources, such as geothermal, solar, water and wind right down to replacing light bulbs in your home for the most energy efficient type. Let's examine several programs in detail to obtain a flavor for the variety. Each location has so many different incentives that change daily, so it is only possible to capture some idea about what may be available to you.
Let's assume you are ready to replace your gas furnace in your existing home and you live in the north eastern half of the United States, where it is cold. A quick Google search soon results in 3 different websites. In this state in the north east, there are many incentives to purchase certain furnaces. They are offering a $1,000 rebate on the equipment as long as the unit meets the EnergyStar guidelines. If you need to upgrade your furnace and water heater, and use an approved contractor for installation, the incentive will be up to $7,200. There are even offers of a loan at 0 per cent for 5 years under specified conditions. Remember that new furnaces save you money in the long run because these furnaces do not use as much gas for the same amount of heating capacity.
Let's examine a smaller outlay in this same state. Suppose your clothes washer quit last week and now you need one. In general, you can expect a $50 rebate as long as the new washer meets the EnergyStar guideline. Each appliance has a label that provides the consumer with the ratings and most clerks in a store are well aware of the saving regulations in their areas. Even light bulbs have an instant rebate of 50 cents.
In order to honor the spirit of saving energy in the United States, the Senate has just passed a resolution to make October 5th the Energy Efficiency Day. The Alliance to Save Energy has set a goal of increasing energy productivity to double in the U.S. by 2030 through co-ordinating the local and federal government projects. It means that we are working towards doubling the output of energy for every dollar spent. Hopefully, we can look forward to more initiatives that will save us money through efficiency.