January 19, 2008

Cities Encouraging Residents to Go Green

Some cities are starting to offer incentives to get people to go green by offering free hybrid car parking, cash rebates for installing solar panels, low-interest loans for energy-saving home renovations, and offering money to tear up desert lawns and replace them with drought-resistant landscaping.

The city of Parkland is giving cash rebates to its residents for being more environmentally friendly by offering residents that install low-flow toilets or shower heads a $150 check. They pay a person replacing an old air conditioner with an energy-efficient one $100. They are paying people who buy a hybrid car $200.

Some states are offering rebates and incentives through tax breaks, loans, and letting hybrid car users to use car pool lanes. The federal government is also offering tax incentives for purchasing many of the hybrid cars on the market and buying energy-saving products.

Next year, San Francisco will offer homeowners rebates of up to $5,000 for installing solar panels if they choose to use a local contractor. The city will cover up to 90 percent of the costs of making apartment buildings more energy-efficient and will pay residents $150 to replace old appliances they have in their household. In Arizona, many cities will pay residents to replace grass with artificial turf or plants that would use less water.

Visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency: http://www.dsireusa.org

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy: http://www.aceee.org

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