It pays to conserve energy, literally. State and federal incentives and tax credits are available to homeowners who make energy efficient home improvements. From Energy Star appliances to solar panels there are dozens of ways to make your home more energy efficient, helping you to save money (and the planet) every month.
Federal Tax Credit
If you purchase an energy-efficient product or renewable energy system for your home, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit. Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency typically allow tax credits up to 30% of the cost up to $1500 for projects such as insulation, efficient windows and doors, and efficient heaters. Solar energy systems, residential wind turbines, and geothermal heat pumps have tax credits of 30% with no upper limit. Please see www.energystar.gov for details.
BGE Smart Energy Savers Program
BGE has a program to provide residents with rebates for residents who get energy efficient upgrades on certain appliances. More information can be found here.
BGE Peak Rewards
BGE’s Peak Rewards program is designed to help ease the “peak” demand for electricity in the Mid-Atlantic region. If you have central air conditioning or an electric heat pump you can get up to $100 in bill credits plus a first year bonus and save even more by using a programmable thermostat.
BGE residential customers can choose either a programmable thermostat or a switch professionally installed. Then you agree to help ease high electricity demand by allowing BGE to “cycle” your air conditioning on and off from time to time, typically during the summer months when electricity demand is at its peak. If you enroll, you choose which level you are comfortable with; 50%, 75%, or 100% cycling. The bill credits vary between each type of cycling you sign up for, ranging from $50 ($100 the first year) to $100 ($200 the first year).
Solar Energy Grant Program
The Maryland Energy Administration operates a Solar Energy Grant Program. The solar grants are available
to residential, business, school and nonprofit entities, and can be used to offset a portion of the cost of either solar electricity generation or solar water heating projects.
Green Building Tax Credit
As an incentive to promote green building, Maryland allows a green building tax credit for businesses that construct or rehabilitate a building conforming to specific standards intended to save energy and mitigate environmental impacts. Please visit the Maryland Energy Administration website listed in the links below for more details about state tax credits. Howard County also offers tax credits for up to five years for high performance buildings depending on their LEED rating and type of building.
Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Howard County implemented a renewable energy tax credit to jump start the industry in Howard County and create green jobs. The 4 year program encouraged homeowners to purchase and install solar and geothermal energy systems for their homes. As the program winds down, all applicants who have already applied for the tax credit will receive their credit over the next 2 years (FY2012 and FY 2013). Projects must be completed and paperwork submitted by April 1, 2012.