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Eco-Friendly Links 4How will the government stimulus plan affect solar energy?
Homeowners looking to save energy, makers of solar panels and wind turbines and companies hoping to bring the electric grid into the computer age all stand to reap major benefits.

The package contains more than $42 billion in energy-related investments from tax credits to homeowners to loan guarantees for renewable energy projects and direct government grants for makers of wind turbines and next-generation batteries.

There's a 30 percent tax credit of up to $1,500 for the purchase of a highly efficient residential air conditioners, heat pumps or furnaces. The credit also can be used by homeowners to replace leaky windows or put more insulation into the attic. About $300 million would go for rebates to get people to buy efficient appliances.

The package includes $20 billion aimed at "green" jobs to make wind turbines, solar panels and improve energy efficiency in schools and federal buildings. It includes $6 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy projects as well as tax breaks or direct grants covering 30 percent of wind and solar energy investments. Another $5 billion is marked to help low-income homeowners make energy improvements.