MEA: Maryland couple leverages rebates and grants to make their home energy-efficient

For Maryland residents, upgrading to energy-efficient homes can be a cost-effective option, one that gives them an opportunity to take advantage of the state's multiple rebate offerings, including those available from Pepco and Potomac Edison. Just ask Montgomery County couple Jim and Sue Russ, whose story about sustainable living was recently featured on the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) website.

Starting with an energy audit that helped them identify ways to upgrade their home and lower their energy bill, the Russes used the MEA's Home Performance Rebate Program to help pay for new insulation, air sealing and carbon monoxide detectors.

But the couple didn't stop there. Next, they researched solar photovoltaic technology so they could convince their homeowners association about the many benefits of solar panels. After turning the association into solar energy advocates, the Russes had a 2.3 kW group of panels installed on their roof, which has saved them roughly $80 a month on their energy bill.

Ultimately, the Russes received $1,813 in grants from the MEA. Many Maryland residents don't even realize that the state offers such enticing incentives for upgrading to energy-efficient homes. In most counties, utility companies offer up to 50 percent back on services such as air sealing and air insulation. The Russes received most of their funds from the Residential Clean Energy Grant Program, which has helped more than 7,500 Maryland families since 2010.

"With the tax incentives, grants and savings, financially, it seems like a no-brainer if you look at a five-year timeline," Jim told the MEA. "We owe no taxes, and we likely won't next year either. When does that happen? Never."

If you're thinking of following in the Russes' footsteps, the best place to start is with an energy audit from a home inspection contractor like Alban Inspections. We also offer air sealing and air insulation services that can help you take advantage of the state's rebates by upgrading to a more energy-efficient home.