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Solar Energy Grants

Solar energy grants are great ways of taking advantage of this renewable energy source even if you, as a homeowner, don't have the founds for investing in a complete solar system for your residence.

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These grants are financial loans offered by local authorities or, most of the times, by the government to those interested in this innovative way of producing free electricity and heat for their own use.

If you're interested in getting financial help for turning your home into an energy efficient one, you must know that besides being very convenient for their recipients, these grants involve some specific requirements and steps that need to be followed.

So let's see in which countries and regions are these solar energy grants available and what should one do for obtaining a financial loan for solar energy systems.

Available Grants for Home Owners

Both local and federal grants are available for people interested in purchasing and installing solar systems. These financial loans can come either as tax incentives or directly as cash, but the first alternative is more common.

Grants for solar powered equipments usually cover the investments involved by electricity production through photovoltaic systems, solar heating devices and, in some states, by hybrid cars.

Within the United States, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) should be contacted by anyone interested in accessing solar energy grants. Programs offered through this institution are meant not only to provide the financial resources but also to assist the buyer with all the support he or she needs during the procedures.

EERE will solve all the issues that may occur with local organizations and authorities, as will provide the best places from where solar systems can be bought depending on the customer's needs and requirements.

Over the past years, thousands of grants have been distributed and hundreds of millions have been accorded to solar energy users and developers. And this shows not only the governmental support but also an increasing interest for alternative energy sources.

US citizens may benefit from local, state or utility grant programs, each of these having specific particularities and requirements for the application forms. So let's analyze them a little and see who's suitable for each of these solar energy grants.

Local programs, as their names suggest it, are available only in certain areas and may have different characteristics, depending on the local authorities' policy. Usually local governments choose to offer these financial aids in collaboration with specialized companies or retailers.

Unlike other solar energy programs, these local solar energy grants cover, most of the times, only half of the total investment and are offered only for solar water heaters and photovoltaic panels and systems.

An example of a local grant program for solar energy is the Climate Smart program through which loans are offered to people living in Boulder County, Colorado.

State grants are usually covered by states governments and companies and they refer to complete solar systems for homes. These plans involve more criteria and they're usually awarded harder, on a more competitive basis.

Another characteristic of state energy grants for solar systems is that the amount of money loaned to the buyer is usually fixed to a certain percentage of the total investment. However, there are some states in which these grants are covering the costs depending on the watt consumption.

Utility solar energy grants don't involve local or national authorities as they're usually attributed by different companies responsible for the administration of sun powered systems in homes.

Water heating through solar panels as well as air heating devices powered by sunlight or other solar energy projects for regular residences are covered by utility grants.

In Europe, there are several organizations specialized in producing and distributing solar powered systems for private or public households. However, these solar energy grants don't usually cover the costs for commercial, business or industry usage of solar systems.

Although the use of this renewable form of energy is encouraged in European countries also, people who try to access these financial plans in order to obtain a certain profit or to use them for commercial purposes will surely be considered not suitable for these grants.

Another detail that should be considered before applying for solar energy grants in Europe is that most of the times, the companies or authorities offering these loans require the solar devices to be installed by certified technicians or installers.

Loans for home solar systems are also available within Australia, where special programs offer the citizens the possibility of saving thousands of dollars through smart strategies and rebates programs and grants.

People living here can access financial plans for solar water or air heating, pumping and filtering systems, as well as for solar electricity generators connected or independent from the national grid.

Solar energy grants are also available for individuals living or owning residential buildings in remote locations, where no other power source is available. Even business owners can benefit from these loans in Australia, and in case they're not eligible for the grants, they can still benefit from tax breaks and important rebates.

How to Apply for Solar Energy Grants?

Regardless the state or country you live in, you need to follow some less or more simple steps before getting a grant for solar powered systems.

  • First, you need to fill in an application form and provide the required papers and acts so that the authorities or companies offering the loans can check your eligibility.

  • Also, you need to choose a specific supplier or producer for the solar powered system you're applying for. People analyzing these documents have plenty of work and they surely won't waste time with incomplete application forms.

  • The next step is to actually order the system and give all the details involved by this process to the grant giver. But make sure your order is conditioned by the grant approval!

  • Within 10 days after sending the grant request, you should receive a confirmation or approval letter through which you will be given all the details you need to know for finalizing the process.

  • After the solar energy grants are approved, in some countries the applicant needs the contact the certified installer for mounting the systems.

  • Last, in case the loan was only partially paid in the first stage of the process, you may need to claim the rest of the grant and then complete the payment for the already installed solar system.

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