Grants for building environmentally friendly homes

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Grants for building environmentally friendly homes
Grants can help you go green when building a house. (green,green leaf image by saied shahinkiya from Fotolia.com)

Going green: you can't go anywhere these days without hearing those two words. We all know building eco-friendly homes is beneficial, both for the environment and for people's health, but the extra cost can be daunting. Luckily, financial resources in the form of grants can help you make your next home environmentally friendly.

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Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, or DSIRE, is a great place to start your grant search. Sponsored by the United States Department of Energy, DSIRE maintains a searchable database containing "information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency." Users can search for renewable energy grants, energy efficiency grants, or both. Grants are offered through federal, state and local governments and include programs like the United States Department of Treasury Renewable Energy Grants that encourages the use of alternative energy, and the Tribal Energy Program Grant that incentivises the use of solar electricity and other energy efficient technologies. Local government initiatives that can be found on DSIRE include programs like King County's Residential Green Building Grants, which provide up to £3,250 for single-family residences that meet certain green criteria. (your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/greenbuilding/incentives/index.asp)

Enterprise Green Communities

Enterprise Green Communities provides grants up to £3,250 under their Green Communities Charette program. According to their website, Enterprise Green Communities' vision is to "fundamentally transform the way we think about, design and build affordable homes" through a focus on the use of sustainable materials, efficient energy sources and reducing negative environmental impacts. Charette grants are awarded to home builders and developers with the goal to "integrate sustainable green design principles into affordable housing developments." Enterprise Green Communities also offers grants up to £3,250 through their Sustainability Training Program. Sustainability Training Grants' goal is to "maximise the health, economic and environmental benefits of green development throughout the project's life cycle." Builders creating affordable housing are eligible to apply.

Home Depot Foundation

The Home Depot Foundation's mission is to build "affordable homes for working families that are healthy to live in and affordable to own. To make homes healthy and affordable, the Foundation encourages developers to incorporate responsible design and use durable materials to ensure that homes are more energy and water efficient, have good indoor air quality and provide a safe and healthy space to live." The Foundation's overarching goal is to build or improve 100,000 homes and plant or restore three million trees between 2007 and 2017. The Affordable Housing Built Responsibly grant program awards millions of dollars annually to building projects that incorporate characteristics like increased energy efficiency, water and soil conservation, improved indoor air quality and use of sustainable building materials.

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