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Because energy efficient home upgrades benefit the community at large, in addition to the individual homeowner, state governments are increasingly taking the lead to encourage and facilitate household energy efficiency. Here in Maryland, the Maryland Energy Administration is the public agency charged with realizing the state’s goals for reduced energy consumption and adoption of renewable energy. The MEA functions to raise awareness of these goals, as well as help homeowners adopt energy efficient home upgrades and transition to household systems that exploit renewable sources of energy.

Here are three Maryland programs specifically aimed at homeowners to encourage energy efficient home upgrades:

EmPower Maryland

The goal of the EmPower Maryland initiative is to reduce household energy usage by 15 percent by 2015. Facilitated by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), the program educates and encourages homeowners to take advantage of energy saving steps and technology already available for their home. Savings are provided to the individual homeowner through five major gas and electricity utilities in the state and include rebates for installing energy efficient lighting and appliances, as well as making home improvements like upgrading insulation and sealing air leaks.

Maryland Home Energy Loan Program

A joint project of the MEA and the Maryland Clean Energy Commission, this program offers loans up to $20,000 to homeowners interested in upgrading the energy efficiency of their house. The loans are available at a 9.99-percent interest rate and generally utilized to make more comprehensive, whole-house upgrades. Consumers can learn more and apply via Maryland Clean Energy Commission.

Residential Clean Energy Grant Program

To provide a break on the expense of installing renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaic panels, solar water heating and new geothermal home heating systems, the MEA administers this program that offers flat cash rebates according the installation performed. Solar PV panels receive a $1,000 amount, solar water heating receives $500 and a new geothermal installation is eligible for $3,000. More information is available on the MEA website.

For advice on choosing energy efficient home upgrades or professional service to install, contact Griffith Energy Services, Inc.

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