Stimulus funds for going green

By Laura Geller - bio | email

Posted by Shawn Maclauchlan

Thinking about "going green" but fear it might cost too much? Virginia now has stimulus funds from Uncle Sam to help you make your home more energy efficient.

The figure is $28 million. That's the pot of money the federal government has given Virginia to help encourage homeowners to become more energy efficient.  And if you do the right "green" things, a different kind of green could end up back in your pocket.

The options may seem daunting and expensive. "Go green" by replacing your central air conditioning system, insulation, furnace, windows, lighting and thermostats.  But now, if home-owners choose the right products, they can get 20 percent of the purchase refunded by the federal government. There's a cap of two-thousand dollars on the rebate.

"We need that leadership at the top level of government so people find ways to have creative financing to make these sorts of ideas and these projects reality," said Laura Middlebrooks.

Middlebrooks is among nearly 300 people who visited a "green" home over the weekend. The house looks a little strange, but it could become the gold standard in energy-efficient building in central Virginia.

Wayne Grebe built the Powhatan home under the most stringent green guidelines.

We really want to educate the public.  A lot of people have read about this stuff, they've seen it on TV and really we wanted to give people the opportunity to touch and feel," said Grebe.

The home was built off the ground to prevent moisture issues, and has special insulation and energy efficient appliances.  But if starting from scratch seems like an unrealistic goal, the stimulus rebate can improve existing structures.

Whether you're building from the ground up or retrofitting what you have, environmentalists say a little bit can go a long way.

If this stimulus rebate program is successful, Virginia could see another $35 million in funding.

The state will post application details on its stimulus website. We've put a link on our website to find more information. Just click all access.

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