This month’s Frogtown Green column has a guest writer – Aaron Backs, a sustainability project coordinator with CERTs, a state-wide clean energy partnership. Aaron walks through a beginners’ guide to green energy. Here’s what he had to say:
They say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the best time to save energy at your home is today! Through new legislation called the “Inflation Reduction Act,” trillions of dollars in tax credits and rebates will soon be available for you to use for clean energy home upgrades. Taking advantage of these opportunities can help you save money and make you a climate leader in your community. There’s an entry point for everyone in St. Paul – here’s a simple path for your clean energy journey, starting with an easy, free or low-cost first step!
• Step One, Climate Supporter:
Get a home energy audit through Home Energy Squad. A visit from the squad analyzes where the greatest energy-saving potential lies in your home, and includes free energy-saving goodies. They will leave you with a report to help guide your energy upgrade planning. Home Energy Squad is available to renters and homeowners, with tax credits available for visits through the Inflation Reduction Act. Visits are free for income-qualified residents. This is an ideal place to start saving energy and money. More at www.mncee.org/home-energy-squad.
• Step Two, Climate Champion:
Use your Home Energy Squad report to start an energy plan that fits your budget and your living arrangement. Energy STAR (www.energystar.gov) has information on what to consider when upgrading to more efficient appliances and what rebates are available. Rewiring America has several guides to help you plan, including energy saving checklists for renters, landlords, and homeowners, and a template for designing an energy plan. Upgrade to energy efficient or electric appliances with your plan – if you work with an installer or contractor, ask them what other rebates and tax credits may be available, or check with Xcel Energy for additional rebates.
Find Rewiring America guides: https://www.rewiringamerica.org/electrify-home-guide
• Step Three, Climate Leader: Start thinking about solar!
The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) website has a Simple Steps to Solar guide to help. Get 2-3 bids from local solar installers and compare the estimates before making a decision. If you rent, or if your home is not ideal for solar, consider signing up for a Community Solar Garden (on.mncerts.org/CSG). The CERTs Community Solar guide at on.mncerts.org/simplesolar explains how you can receive the benefits of solar without needing to install panels on your rooftop.
You don’t need to be a Climate Leader to start spreading the news about the new rebates and tax credits available through the Inflation Reduction Act. Share this Monitor article, or share the CERTs website with friends and neighbors to get ready to make clean energy updates and upgrades for your home – some for little to no cost at all!
If you have any questions about your clean energy journey, feel free to email info@CleanEnergyResourceTeams.org
Aaron Backs is a CERTs Sustainability Project Coordinator. He wrote this piece in partnership with Frogtown Green’s Patricia Ohmans.
Frogtown Green is a volunteer-powered initiative to build green beauty in the Frogtown neighborhood. We plant trees, cultivate gardens and work toward a healthier environment. If you’d like to know more, our website is frogtowngreen.com and our phone is 651-757-5970.
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