Every state in the nation has a website that allows consumers to find out whether the state is holding some money for them. For instance, in my home state of Wisconsin, I searched the database and found that a typographical error in my address meant a rebate I had filed for long ago had been turned into the state’s unclaimed property department. Getting the money back is fairly easy - I only need to request, fill out and return some forms, and the money should be on its way to me. And for $50, I think it is well worth the effort. But it got me thinking about rebates and the incentive they provide to encourage us to act.

There may be money out there waiting for you to find it - and not only as a consumer. Corporations can gain access to rebates and incentives.
  • The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. At www.dsireusa.org, you can search for local, state, federal and utility incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Many of the offers pertain to manufacturing companies. On the website, users will find menu items like frequently asked questions, a glossary, search by state using a map of the United States, and even ways to customize the directory to shorten your search time.

  • Companies interested in combined heat and power (CHP) systems and biomass/biogas projects may qualify for federal and state incentives. According to http://www.epa.gov/chp/funding/funding.html, CHP and biomass/biogas funding opportunities include financial incentives such as grants, tax incentives and low-interest loans as well as and tradable allowances.
Also, don’t forget to look for regional and state incentives as well. For instance, the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance promotes energy efficiency in the Southeastern region of the United States. Check out its incentives database at www.seealliance.org/database.php.

  Linda Becker, Associate Publisher and Editor, BeckerL@bnpmedia.com

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