Solar Power Grants -
Hope for Funding Your Project

Solar Power Grants are an intriguing topic. If initial costs weren't so high, most people would have already installed a solar array to eliminate their electric bill.

However, it isn't that simple. When I started researching for this page, I was hoping to provide a list of grants available to those who wanted to install solar power.

But that isn't exactly what I'll be doing, because I've discovered this is one thing that can only be simplified to a certain level.

Why?

Grants are Complex

There are several variables that cause solar power grants' complexities. They are:
  • Location- Most grants are only available to people in certain locations, so specific information will only apply to one locale.
  • Grantor- The person, or entity (usually a governmental branch) providing the grant makes the rules that govern the grant, as well as deciding how to award the grant.
  • Planned Uses - Each grant is only available for certain uses. If a grant is available, but your planned usage doesn't meet the rules laid down for awarding the funds, you're out of luck!
  • Proper applications - Even if funds are available, unless you can find the forms, fill them out properly, and clearly communicate why the grant should be awarded to you, you'll probably not see a penny in grant money.

Sources for Grants

I previously thought solar power grants were only available from the federal government. One of my most interesting discoveries was that this really isn't the case.

In all there are about five possible sources for solar power grants. They are:

  1. individuals,
  2. utility companies,
  3. local governments,
  4. state governments, and finally
  5. the federal government.

Although grants are supposed to be available from individuals, I wasn't able to find any places where information about them can be found.

Rather, I discovered, most individual grants only go to non-profit or commercial institutions, so grant information isn't available to the general public.

How to Apply for Solar Power Grants

The first step is to decide which type of solar power you want to use, since grants are generally made available for specific uses.

Secondly, you will need to research which grants are available for the project you have in mind in your location.

In the United States, the The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and selected federal incentives that promote renewable energy. Their website will give you all the details for grants available in your specific location.

On the federal level there are currently four different grant programs available, however you will need to go to the site and research these grants to find out whether or not they will be helpful to you.

In other parts of the world, each country seems to have their own comparable website, and programs.

If you are in the UK, for example, you'll probably want to visit the UK's Grant and Discounts Database.

While in Australia you'll want to visit Australia's Government Rebates page.

In New Zealand you should visit this government site. Currently the grant offered is for solar hot water heaters.

In Canada you'll want to visit Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency Incentives and Rebates Page.

Even in India, there are solar power loans available. Although not a grant because the funds do have to be repaid, the interest charged is reported to be lower than going rates. For more information visit this page on the Indian Solar Loans Project.

Third, determine the cost of your project before the grant funding, and after it. If you can get the grant decide whether the funding will make the project doable for you. If so, proceed to the next step.

Fourth, get the necessary forms from the organization offering the grant.

Fifth, fill out the applications accurately and completely, and be sure to follow all rules and regulations regarding how it is to be done.

Finally, be sure to turn in the application on time, and wait to see if you get the grant.

Solar Power Grants
Complicated Funding Alternatives

Although solar power grants are not easily awarded, if they are the only method available to fund your project, they may be worth the trouble to pursue.

Certainly it is an option worth exploring if you are attempting a major solar power project.

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