I want to live in an off the grid, wired home. And have someone else pay for it.
I decided a few years ago to take the plunge of home ownership, and immediately realized a couple of things. The first was that I would never be happy living in 99% of existing pre-built homes. They’re simply not “green” enough or “wired” enough for my tastes. The second was that I don’t want to live in a building that is simply a big symbol of the decades of debt that lie ahead. My solution? As someone in need of a career change who has worked from a home office for over a decade, the only sensible approach I could see was to make the building of my home a business in itself. I’ve done a lot of casual research over the last two years, and recently decided to hunker down and get to work. First up: FUNDING. The Obama administration campaigned pretty heavily on green issues, so as I research the best locations and building solutions, I’m going to coordinate those plans with as many green building and renewable energy subsidies as possible. To that end, I’ve been compiling some resources, and thought I’d share them here. In upcoming pieces I’ll share information I’ve found on things like wind and solar resource potential by state, and green building resources and strategies. But to get started, below are some government funding resources I’ll be exploring. Please share any resources you may be aware of yourself, I’ll take all the help I can get!
Grants.gov is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards. It’s also – as one might expect from the government – a nightmarish tangle of strangely organized information hierarchies. Be prepared to put in some serious research time.
The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
The Department of Energy’s EERE works with business, industry, universities, and others to increase the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. They have a tremendous variety of resources, but as an individual, you might want to start with the Financial Opportunities for Consumers page
Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)
DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. They unfortunately make rather extensive use of PowerPoint to deliver the content. If you don’t have PowerPoint installed, you can download PowerPoint Viewer from Microsoft.
EPA Green Building Funding Opportunities Listings
The EPA does not currently provide funding to support green building projects itself, but they assembled some nice resources for homeowners, industry, government organizations and nonprofits at the link above.