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    Renewable Energy Incentives

This page presents a guide to available incentives, programs, financing institutions, and lending agencies that can help finance renewable energy systems and/or energy efficient homes and home improvements.

Texas Incentives

Federal Incentives

Texas Incentives

Although the state does not have have a tax exemption program at this time that provides funding of renewable energy equipment on an individual basis, there are tax exemptions. The DOE website, Financial Opportunities for Consumers, lists additional resources for consumers and homeowners. Texas residents can also check with their local utility providers, as some have energy efficiency programs that offer low cost loans and/or rebates and advice on renewable energy technologies.

Texas Tax Code for Renewable Energy Systems
Property tax exemptions, franchise tax exemptions, and franchise tax deductions.

Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
DSIRE has expanded to include state and federal incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, purchases of energy efficient products or systems, and construction of new energy efficient buildings. This free resource, with incentive details, links to program web sites, legislation, and contacts, includes: tax credits and deductions, rebates, grants low-interest loans, property and sales tax exemptions and bond programs.  Users can search for efficiency incentives by state, by technology (lighting, insulation, etc.), by incentive type (tax credit, rebate, etc.), and by other criteria. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council managed by the North Carolina Solar Center and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Energy Efficient Mortgages

Austin Energy (City of Austin)
GreenChoice Program, Green Building Program, Green Power, rebates, low-interest loans, refrigerator/freezer recycling cash incentives, free thermostats program, free home energy improvements.

Austin Energy's GreenChoice Program uses renewable alternatives such as wind power to provide efficient, low-cost electricity. The standard fuel charge for Austin Energy customers increased in January 2006 to 3.63 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The current batch of green power carries a comparable “GreenChoice Charge” of 3.50 cents per kWh. This amounts to a $1.30 per month savings ($16 per year) for an average residential customer using 1,000 kWh per month, versus non-subscribers. GreenChoice subscriber's green power fuel charge remains fixed for up to 10 years.

City Public Service of San Antonio Rebate Program
Central AC rebates, commercial rebates, lawn mower rebates, ENERGY STAR® rated window AC units rebates.

Texas Electric Choice
A Public Utility Commission of Texas web site where customers can choose the retail electric provider that meets their own requirements. Some electric providers offer lower rates, wind or solar power, or the promise of better customer service. At this site customers can shop and compare.

Energy Efficiency Assistance for Customers of Investor-Owned Utilities
Texas law requires investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to give their customers the opportunity to implement energy efficiency measures in their homes and/or business for lower utility bills. This is achieved by providing incentives to energy service companies and other providers of energy efficiency services to offset a portion of the up-front cost associated with energy efficiency measures. The web site provides links to these Texas IOUs: AEP, CenterPoint, Entergy, TXU, TNM, Xcel, El Paso.

Federal & National Assistance

Energy Policy Act of 2005 Tax Credits

A State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) web page offering several articles on the Energy Policy Act of 2005 Tax Credits.

Funding Opportunities
This SECO web site lists national funding opportunities for energy efficiency, energy conservation and renewable energy projects and initiatives.

Ethanol Incentives
This is a SECO page that lists federal and Texas state incentives for ethanol.

DOE's Financing Solutions & Incentives
Provides useful links to energy efficiency and renewable energy financing resources for homeowners, small business, industry, utilities, state and local programs, federal building, and international projects.

SEIA Guide to Federal Tax Credits for Solar Energy
To help homeowners take advantage of the federal solar energy tax credits, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has published "The SEIA Guide to Federal Tax Credits for Solar Energy," a 40-page manual in the form of a 1.4-MB PDF file. See the SEIA press release and sign up on the SEIA Web site to receive a free copy of the guide via email.

Incentives for Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems
A Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium web site.

Texas Geothermal Outreach and Networking Group - Suggested Grants and Loans

Energy Star offers businesses and consumers energy efficient solutions - helping to save money while protecting the environment for future generations. Energy Star is a voluntary labeling program of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy that identifies energy efficient products. Energy Star programs and products help save the environment and save consumers money by using less energy through advanced design or construction.

U. S. Housing and Urban Development — Energy Efficient Mortgage Home Owner Guide
Additional information on the Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM)

The Borrower's Guide to Financing Solar Energy Systems: A Federal Overview
This U. S. Department of Energy document provides information that can assist
assist both lenders and consumers in financing solar energy systems, which include both solar electric (photovoltaic) and solar thermal systems. The guide also includes information about other ways to make solar energy systems more affordable, as well as descriptions of special mortgage programs for energy-efficient homes.

Patrina Eiffert, PhD.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
1617 Cole Boulevard
Golden, CO 80401-3393
e-mail: [email protected]

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