Maryland County Hands Out Millions in Energy Efficiency Grants

Montgomery County in Maryland is handing out millions of dollars in rebates to help homeowners and small businesses pay for energy efficiency improvements and save money on utility bills.

Thanks to a multi-million dollar grant from the federal government, the county is providing individual homeowners, small businesses and owners of multi-family dwellings (such as duplexes and apartment buildings), with rebates to help offset the cost of energy-saving projects.

Forty-three businesses or multi-family dwellings have already received $1.7 million from the county, while county government buildings have received $2.5 million. The county will set aside the final $1.2 million from the federal grant to provide rebates to homeowners who agree to complete energy-efficiency projects in their homes.

According to Eric Coffman, senior energy planner with the county’s Department of Environmental Protection, the county has already approved 69 applications for the final round of rebates totaling about $1 million. Coffman said that the rebates — as much as $3,000 per homeowner for projects such as insulation, heating and cooling, air sealing, solar water heating, geothermal heat pumps and energy-efficient appliances — could save the average homeowner between 10 percent and 30 percent a year on energy costs.

The county also offers about $500,000 in total property tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects each year, but is facing a backlog because the number of applicants exceeds the budget.

Sources

Montgomery Homeowners Can Save Energy Costs,” Gazette.Net, Sept. 14, 2011.