These states will pay you cash for home improvement projects

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently accepting applications from states that want to offer residents cash back for money-saving and eco-friendly home upgrades — and many plans have already been approved, the DOE reveals.

Here’s how it works: The DOE has funding to allocate to the states through the Home Energy Rebates program. Its goal is to ensure that money is used to provide the greatest possible benefit to consumers, so it requires every participating state to apply with a plan to do just that.

Each state creates its own process for residents to apply for and receive cash back for eco-friendly home upgrades. The states set their own requirements for the program, so which appliances and upgrades qualify depends on the state.

For example, say you want to install an energy- and water-saving Energy Star dishwasher. Depending on your state, you can apply to receive part of the purchase price back from your state government. In fact, depending on the purchase and the state, this rebate program could cover the whole purchase.

That’s in addition to the lower energy and water bills you’ll enjoy by using an efficient appliance.

Other potential qualifying upgrades could include solar panels, additional insulation, water-saving fixtures, energy-efficient HVAC equipment, refrigerators, washers, and dryers.

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Right now, the DOE is in the process of reviewing most states’ applications. However, at this stage, states can already receive early funding to get started while their applications are under review — so there may be options already available to you.

As of July 1, only New York State has its final rebate system up and running. However, five other states have had their applications approved (California, Hawaii, Washington, Wisconsin, and Maine), and 13 other states and the District of Columbia have submitted applications, qualifying them for early funding. The other states are in the process of preparing their applications.

“These states and territories have applied for $2.7 billion in funding,” the DOE reports. “Many states … have applied for or have received optional early funding to jumpstart their programs.”

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