Feb 14

State Energy Grants

Almost every state has instituted some form of energy grants to help homeowner’s install more energy efficient appliances, furnaces, or alternative energy system. There are also grants to assist in weatherization or insulation of a home to make it more energy efficient.

Uncle Sam has many tax incentives to help a homeowner to offset the rising cost of materials as well. Be sure to check with you state tax office as well to see if or what you may qualify for. The newer appliances and furnaces use less energy to operate and will save you money on your monthly utility bills while saving our precious resources.

I live in Missouri and there are several ways to make improvements with help from the state as well as the tax incentives you can use from Uncle Sam. We have a propane furnace at this time and by up-grading it I can receive a cash rebate from the state of Missouri for up-grading to a more energy efficient model.

Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also offers a weatherization program for low-income families administered through local Community Action Agencies. Once qualified, a contractor is sent to the home to perform an energy audit and determines what type of assistance the homeowner needs. They may install storm windows, blow in insulation in the attic and walls, seal the windows with caulking, and install weather-stripping as needed. These improvements are designed to help the low-income family to stay warmer while using less energy.

Missouri also has a new program called Energize Missouri Agriculture. They are promoting the use of intensive grazing management for livestock and will offer the farmers grants up to 75% cost share to install equipment to save energy. There are many types of projects that would qualify for these grants saving the farmers time, money, and energy.

Solar powered systems such as solar powered water systems would qualify. They will cover the cost to install insulated waters and irrigation improvements. Many farmers now use Global Positioning Systems on their farms and these, too, would qualify for the grants.

Many types of large farms can qualify for improvements in dairy facilities, swine and poultry facilities. Farmers can upgrade or replace their grain dryers. Install high volume, low speed fans, perform lighting upgrades, and install motion sensors or timers.

Crop farmers can use the grant to help purchase conservation tillage equipment. Projects not listed will be considered if appropriate energy savings can be demonstrated to the DNR so anyone with a project in mind should apply. Make sure you pay attention to all the pertinent rules governing even the application for the grant. Grant requests and reports must be submitted on recycled paper.

These funds are helping to promote alternative energy. Barns can easily be lighted and operated using solar energy reducing a farmers operating cost, increasing his profit, and possibly even lowering the overall cost to the consumer. Each step we take to make ourselves less dependent on foreign oil the better for us all.

The less fossil fuels we burn, the better for our environment; the healthier our lives will be; and the more of our precious resources we save. Every single person can help with saving energy regardless of where they live or their lifestyle. Cut off the lights when you leave the room or install automatic light switches if you don’t want to have to think about doing it.

You may think whatever you might be able to do would only be a drop in a bucket… so why do it. If we don’t start putting drops in the bucket, it will never get full. Even by adding only a single drop at a time, the bucket will fill up. It will just take longer. But…. if we all starting putting drops in the bucket, it will overflow in no time!

Check with your state tax office and your tax preparer to see what you might qualify for in grants or incentives. Changes your light bulbs, recycle whatever you can, and walk instead of drive to the corner store. Reduce your carbon footprint and save money while doing it.

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