As one year ends and another begins, a household may find itself with a little extra cash, and the question of home repairs may arise. Whether from annual employment bonuses, financial gifts, a tax refund, or basic frugality, spare funds may be invested in home improvements that can have substantial benefits. Some common upgrades considered are:
- Appliances – dishwashers, water heaters, washers and dryers
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Roofing and insulation
Finding the Funds
Recent years have seen increased energy and fuel efficiency in all appliances. These improved efficiencies result in lower carbon footprints and energy bills which can lead to significant financial savings over time. Unfortunately, many homeowners are not aware of public programs in place to help with appliance and home upgrades. These funds may be available in the form of rebates or low-interest loans to property owners and, in some cases, may cover the entire cost of the upgrade.
Gathering information about the various programs can be tiresome and frustrating, to say the least. Fortunately, the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University created the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency as a tool for learning what incentives are available across the United States. Each program or policy listed has information linked regarding requirements, contacts, and a general summary to explain the reasons for the funding.
Finding an Installer
Many publicly funded rebates have requirements that must be met to qualify for the program funds. One of the more common specifications is a list of approved appliances to be used. Additionally, there are times when the appliance or upgrade must be installed by a qualified technician or contractor, but no list of installers is provided. The Contractor’s Association of Minnesota maintains its list of contractors available to assist with home improvement needs. Contact the Contractor’s Association of Minnesota when you’re ready to get started on your New Year home improvements.