Financial matters: grants, tax incentives and investment considerations
Whether you have a team of financial advisors or two small copper coins and a lot of enthusiasm, how you choose to spend your money speaks to your values. This section addresses ways to make your financial resources go further through grants and tax incentives, and financial investment considerations.
Tax incentives and funding opportunities
There are many tax incentives available for energy conservation and renewable energy. Find a list of renewable electricity policies and incentives by zip code at www.dsireusa.org. This website is a great resource, but can seem a bit complex. Here are some more detailed directions:
- Select your state by clicking on the correct state on the map.
- You are provided with a (perhaps overwhelming!) list of incentives, loans, etc. To narrow this down, click on the “Apply filter” button near the top right.
- Some of the useful filters include:
- Technology: choose energy efficiency or renewable energy
- Categories: “Financial incentive” is probably the most useful. Choose this to focus on financial help.
- Eligible sector: Select residential for your personal home, non-residential for a church. Both will lead to additional choices. For a church, non-profit is one of the non-residential options. This will eliminate irrelevant results, such as tax breaks.
- Be sure to choose “Apply filters” at the bottom. You may select multiple filters.
- Click on the name of a program that looks interesting
- Make sure it applies to your area
- Immediately check the expiration date - some programs listed have already expired.
Outdoor Ministries Association: Scroll down to "Environmental Grant Program". Developed to encourage camps to develop environmental education programs, but they will also find congregations. A few of the funded projects have included rain barrels, an open-air greenhouse, energy efficient light bulb switch, and a bird blind.
If you are fortunate enough to have money to invest, you may consider investing it in ways that do not contribute to climate change. In today's complicated financial markets, below are some things to consider when investing. To be clear — we are NOT financial experts and these considerations are not recommendations. Be sure to discuss financial decisions with a trained financial professional before acting.
- Consider investing in renewable energy companies.
- Consider companies that prioritize Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and tie their financial mission to their social mission.
- Look up a company’s environmental record. For example, Newsweek posts a list of "top green companies."
- If you have a financial advisor, ask them to consider your portfolio's environmental, social, and governance (ESG) profile, or complete a carbon review on your profile.
- Here are some additional clean energy investment resources.