How To Save on Your Next Home Energy Project

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If you’re like most people, the first thing you think about when making a home upgrade is the price tag. When it comes to home energy and efficiency projects, you might be wondering how long it will take to earn back your initial investment. While many of these projects will save you money over the long term, there are ways to get some of that investment back sooner — through tax incentives, rebates, or credits. Let’s look at some of the cost-saving measures available to Virginians.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Weatherization Assistance Program helps residents with low incomes afford improvements to increase energy efficiency and lower their utility bills. Eligible residents first receive a free home energy audit to identify improvements that can save money and increase comfort in their home. The program then covers the cost of these projects, which can include adding insulation, sealing air leaks, and fixing heating and cooling systems. View this notice on the department’s website to find out if you’re eligible.

The Commonwealth is one of a growing list of states to offer rebates for electric vehicle purchases. Virginia’s rebate program offers all residents a $2,500 rebate for buying a new or used electric vehicle. If you meet certain income qualifications, you can get an additional $2,000 in rebates. When you add those savings to the $7,500 federal credit, you could be getting $12,000 off the price of your next car.

One of the biggest home energy projects is making the switch to renewable energy by installing solar panels. You can offset the high upfront cost not only with long-term savings but by cashing in on solar renewable energy certificates. You earn these certificates when your solar panels produce more energy than your home uses and you sell that energy back to the power grid. In Virginia, each credit may be valued at up to $75, although electricity providers may offer less than that (for example, Dominion Energy pays $10 per credit). Check with your electricity provider to learn more.

For more incentives, look beyond state government programs. Virginia Energy Sense has a comprehensive list of incentives and rebates offered by Virginia energy providers and community organizations. You may also qualify for federal incentives, including those in the Inflation Reduction Act. There are a lot of ways you can save on your next home project; before you get started, find out what savings might be available to you.