The City of Charlottesville, the Commonwealth of VA, and the federal government are all providing incentives to homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. If you have (or have not) ever thought of improving the energy efficiency of a home that you already own, it may be worth your time to look at the paybacks of these incentives. I have tried to compile everything I know of here. If you know of anything I am missing, please let me know!


Property Tax Assessment for Energy Efficient Buildings
Scroll to bottom of City webpage for attachments
This is a creative incentive that gives homeowner’s a one-time 50% property tax credit if they are able to show the house is a 30% energy efficiency improvement over the building code standard. This can be certified if the house meets performance standards of the Green Globes Green Building Rating System, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) System or the EarthCraft House Program; or qualifies as an Energy Star home under federal Energy Star criteria. There are a few certified Home Energy Raters in the Charlottesville area that can help.

Hot Water Heater and Programmable Thermostat Rebates

Local Energy Alliance Program
The City and County worked together to win a $500,000 grant for their proposal to create a local energy program designed “to achieve unprecedented energy and water savings by retrofitting buildings and installing renewable technologies in all end use sectors. The program is designed to achieve 30% – 50% market penetration and a 20% – 40% efficiency gain in 5-7 years.” This seems pretty ambitious to me, but I support their efforts. The program should be up and running in January, so I’ll post more info on this program as it becomes available.

A Green City (City of Charlottesville Incentives for Reference)
Spark (City of Charlottesville Incentives for Reference)


Efficiency Rebate and Solar and Wind Incentive Programs
New applications to the Efficiency Rebate and Solar and Wind Incentive Programs closed on November 18. Current requests to reserve rebates have exhausted the first round of funds. A second round of rebate funds is expected to be made available at a later date to be determined.

Dominion Power Proposed Programs
Dominion seeks state approval of 12 energy-saving and demand-reducing programs. These should be approved (or denied) in February 2010. Look out for info in your bill.

DSIRE (State Incentives for Reference)


Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency (Energy Star)
Tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, in 2009 & 2010 (for existing homes only) for:

    Windows and Doors
    Roofs (Metal and Asphalt)
    Water Heaters (non-solar)
    Biomass Stoves

Tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, with no upper limit through 2016 (for existing homes & new construction) for:

    Geothermal Heat Pumps
    Solar Panels
    Solar Water Heaters
    Small Wind Energy Systems
    Fuel Cells

Department of Energy (Federal Incentives for Reference)