Although many energy-efficiency projects like caulking windows, weather-stripping doors, or insulating water pipes will cost you only a few dollars to complete, others –including insulating exterior walls, air-sealing an attic, replacing a furnace, or adding new storm windows –may cost considerably more. Look to these places for help in covering the costs:
Many utility companies offer incentives on larger projects like furnace replacement, attic insulation, and new appliances by giving you a discount on energy bills or sending you a rebate when the work is completed. Other utilities offer free or discounted services or products, like low-flow shower heads, CFL bulbs, or energy assessments. Contact your local energy utility or visit the visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency for details.
Community Nonprofits and Neighborhood Organizations
These groups may offer a variety of services and programs, including energy assessments, energy education, free or discounted products, and financing. Contact your city or municipality to learn about what is available in your area.
Your bank may be able to help, too. Ask about a low-interest loan designed specifically to cover the cost of energy-saving projects, or consider a home-improvement loan to fund them. Some banks offer energy-efficiency mortgages, which take into account the reduced energy bills when improvements are made to homes. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency also offers a Fix Up Fund Loan for home improvements—even if you do the work yourself.
Some Minnesota residents may be eligible for aid from the state Weatherization Assistance Program or Energy Assistance Program. You can apply through your local service provider. For more information including eligibility requirements, application forms, and contact information, visit the Commerce website.
Finally, for the latest information on tax incentives, rebates, or grant programs from federal, state, or local governments, check out their websites. It is important to find out the specifics (qualifying products, installation requirements, site analysis, inspections, etc) before purchasing products or services. Some programs require approved applications or specific products or procedures in order to qualify for the funding. Not meeting the requirements may jeopardize your incentive, rebate, or grant. A listing of many current programs and lists is also available at our website.