It pays to conserve energy, literally. Incentives and tax credits are available to homeowners who make energy 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

Federal tax incentives can be found on Energy STAR’s Federal Income Tax Credits Page. the Inflation Reduction Act brought new incentives for energy efficiency, heating and cooling upgrades, geothermal, and renewable power. Federal tax incentives for homeowners can be found here.

Maryland Energy Incentives

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) operates several energy incentives for homes and businesses. Information about residential incentives can be found on the Residential Clean Energy Rebate Program page. Incentives for FY24 include solar PV panels, solar shingles, solar hot water, and geothermal heating and cooling systems. Check the website for any recent updates of changes.

Howard County High Performance Buildings

Howard County offers tax credits to new construction and existing buildings with LEED platinum, gold, or silver certification.

Utility Company Programs

BGE and Potomac Edison both offer home energy audit programs at discounted rates. Their Home Performance with Energy Star programs offer comprehensive energy audits for $100, an estimated $400 value. The audit report will recommend specific upgrades as well as estimates for their cost, state incentives and pay­back period. Incentives typically cover upgrades such as air sealing, insulation and duct sealing.

As a bonus, homeowners can receive free LED light bulbs, water heater pipe wraps, showerhead adapters, faucet aerators and power strips. These can be installed the day of the audit with the home­owners permission. All contractors are vetted and approved by the utility companies. To learn more and sign up directly through the utility companies, use these links for the BGE and Pepco home energy audit programs.

Utility companies also offer rebates on energy upgrades such as heating and air conditioning equipment as well as Energy Star appliances. Check out these rebates for BGE – Appliances, Heating and Cooling and Potomac Edison – Appliances, Heating and Cooling.

Energy Use 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 and save even more by using a programmable thermostat.

Residential customers can choose either a programmable thermostat or a switch professionally installed. Then you agree to help ease high electricity demand by allowing the energy company 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.