How to Live Sustainably

There are many ways we can all help make our community a better place to live. Below are some ideas to get you started.

Reduce your use

Reducing your water, energy and waste by making small changes in your daily life can make a big difference to our community and environment.

Make your home more energy efficient:

Duke Energy offers free home energy checks, which provide a detailed breakdown of your home’s past and current energy usage and a free energy efficiency kit. The Home Energy Check report is customized for your home so you can review specific tips on how to save energy and lower your electric bill. The check can be completed online, over the phone, or in person at your home. 

Visit the Duke Energy website to learn how you can save with their:

Photo of a faucet with water dripping

Water reduction rebates:

The Tampa Bay Water Wise program offers 11 rebates for residential and non-residential customers who purchase or implement new water saving devices and measures on or after March 1, 2020. Learn more about how to save money by saving water.

Waste reduction:

Recycle at your home and business

Recycling Bin

In addition to keeping waste out of our landfills, recycling also reduces the greenhouse gas emissions that pollute our air and contribute to climate change. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the reduction in solid waste from paper and paperboard recycling alone in the U.S. in 2018 saved more than 155 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering our environment. That’s the equivalent of the emissions that could be reduced from taking 33.5 million cars off the road for one year.

Learn more about recycling in Pinellas County with these resources:

Build responsibly

Are you building a business or home? Learn more about green building practices.

Read the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Guide for Homebuilders.

Consider going solar

Photo of solar panels on the roof of a home

Solar energy production is growing rapidly in Florida, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save residents and businesses money on energy costs. If you’re interested in installing solar panels at your home or business, the resources below may help:

Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

Home and business owners who install solar panel systems can save on installation costs through the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Residents and businesses that install a solar energy system during 2020-2022 can receive a tax credit of 26% of the cost of their solar panel system. Those that install a solar panel system in 2023 can receive a 22% tax credit.

The residential tax credit will expire in 2024 unless the U.S. Congress renews it, while the tax credit for commercial and utility solar energy systems will decrease to 10% starting in 2024.

Learn more about the Solar Investment Tax Credit:

Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics

Guide to the Federal Investment Tax Credit for Commercial Solar Photovoltaics

Solar Co-op Programs:

Solar co-op programs allow residents to save on solar installation costs through bulk discounts and get one-on-one support throughout the installation process. Learn about local solar co-op programs through Solar United Neighbors (SUN)

Financing through Solar and Energy Loan Fund (SELF):

The nonprofit Solar and Energy Loan Fund offers low-interest-rate financing for solar equipment installation and other home improvements to make your home more energy efficient. SELF’s solar loans require no minimum credit score, no income limits and no minimum asset or home equity. Learn more about solar financing with SELF.

Community Solar through Duke Clean Energy Connection Program:

If you’re interested in saving money with renewable energy but are not able to install solar equipment on your property, you can still benefit from solar energy through the Duke Clean Energy Connection community solar program. The program allows customers to subscribe to clean energy in Florida and save money on their electric bills while helping to reduce greenhouse gas pollution in Florida.

Learn more about community solar

Other Solar Energy Resources:

Consider an electric vehicle

Making the switch to an electric vehicle can dramatically reduce your carbon footprint, and it can save you money in fuel and maintenance costs, too! Learn more about electric vehicles

Get involved

Pinellas County Volunteer Opportunities

View Pinellas County government volunteer opportunities

Other Community Volunteer Opportunities

Environment & Wildlife

Other Causes

Search for local volunteer opportunities by topic on VolunteerMatch:

Search for local volunteer opportunities via Volunteer Florida