Monday, November 9, 2009

Solar Power meets Kermit THE Frog?

Bills, bills, bills.... everyone has them. And let's face it, we hate them.
Living in Maryland has become rather expensive over the last few years, and not the things that we have any control over either.

Water usage rates have nearly tripled in 3 years, property taxes have jumped by thousands of dollars in a very short time and gas and electric rates are through the roof.

In an effort to reduce our family's electric bill we installed a wood burning fireplace, unplug small appliances not in use and converted our lighting to flourescent bulbs.

Of course, my husband being the handy-man that he is, installing Solar Energy Panels to cut down on electric bills is something he would like to do.
And being the super efficient guy that he is, researching how they work, how much they will save us and how to install them has become a passion.

Did you know that the government gives residential and small business grants for Solar Panel installation?

Many states have rebate programs that will give you a discount or certain percentage of the installation fees back.

In Maryland, residential installations that are no larger than 20kW are eligible for a grant amount that caps at $10,000.00 for whole house systems, and hot water solar systems can qualify for 30% of installation costs up to $2.000.00.
These are great incentives, but the grants are limited so applying for them as soon as you decide to install a Solar Energy System in your home is imperative.

Maryland also has a tax exempt program for homes with Solar or Green energy where the equipment is tax exempt. The most recent Solar Energy Grant Program for Maryland was updated on October 19, 2009 with the latest grants and application guidelines.

Another nice thing about Maryland that I have found in my research is that if you are generating enough energy to cover your electric usage, you only pay customer service fees on your electric bill, and you can actually get paid by the electric company for energy generated that you are not using. Basically, if you are generating solar energy in excess of your needs, you are selling it to the Electric Company. This does not look like a reason to install Solar Energy Panels but it certainly is a nice perk!

SO, if you are tired of the ever-increasing costs of living under your roof, check into what can you can put ON it to help out. Look into the incentives and grants available to you in your state and see how much you can save using Green Power.

And for DIY-ers like mine, www.GreenDIYEnergy.com looks like a company that can help. They provide the instructions on how to make your own solar panels and how to install them. This can save tens of thousands on just the installation, but add in the savings by making your own panels and you could be looking at serious cash in hand. Maybe enough to make Going Green NOW affordable for your home.

Going Green is the new catch phrase. You see it on home improvement shows, kids programming- real shows on recycling, not just the ones with Miss Piggy and Friends, infomercials and all over the internet. Green Power looks like an efficient way to cut household costs, and save our environment.
Add the tax credits from the federal and state governments, the tax exempt status Maryland gives you for your Solar Power equipment and the increase in your home's value Green Energy will give, Going Green just seems like it makes sense.

And in the words of the oh-so-wonderful Kermit THE Frog.... "It's Not Easy Being Green!"

But, it sure does help!
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