Residents of Albuquerque, N.M., get fast-track building permits and other perks if they agree to make their homes more energy-efficient.
In Arizona, many cities pay residents to replace grass with artificial turf or plants that use less water. Scottsdale, outside Phoenix, will pay up to $1,500.
Residents in one city who install low-flow toilets or shower heads will get $150. Replacing an old air conditioner with a more energy-efficient one brings $100. Buying a hybrid car? An additional $200 cash back. And the list goes on.
Based on an estimate of 1,000 residents participating in the rebate program during the first year, the city predicts it will cost up to $100,000.
Utilities have long provided incentives to buy energy-efficient appliances, solar panels and toilets that use less water. The federal government, too, offers tax incentives for purchases of many hybrid vehicles and energy-saving products.
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