Sunday, February 26, 2012

GREEN LIVING: Incentives for Going Green

Are you thinking green this Spring? Not only can energy efficient windows, doors and skylights reduce energy bills they can also reduce your federal tax load!  

The categories you'll find include: 
 Visit to see how you can save! These incentives are rewards for making your home more efficient and consuming less energy.  
  • Biomass Stoves. These energy saving stoves burn biomass fuel, such as agricultural crops and trees, wood and wood waste and residues, plants, grasses, residues, and fibers. You can take up to a $300 tax credit on units with a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75%.  

  • Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. These advanced system upgrades can be used for a tax credit of $50 when they use no more than 2 percent of a furnace's total energy.

  • Air Source Heat Pump. According to, "Heat pumps offer an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioners in moderate climates. Like your refrigerator, heat pumps use electricity to move heat from a cool space into a warm, making the cool space cooler and the warm space warmer. During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the cool outdoors into your warm house; during the cooling season, heat pumps move heat from your cool house into the warm outdoors. Because they move heat rather than generate heat, heat pumps can provide up to 4 times the amount of energy they consume." You can take a credit of $300.

  • Insulation. Adding insulation can be one of the biggest bangs for your buck in your home. Take a tax credit of 10 percent of the cost, up to $500. Typical bulk insulation products can qualify, such as batts, rolls, blow-in fibers, rigid boards, expanding spray, and pour-in-place.  

  • Water heaters. Water heating can account for 14%–25% of the energy consumed in your home. Go tankless and save big. The tax credit requires an energy factor ≥ 0.82 OR a thermal efficiency of at least 90%. The tax credit amount is $300.  

  • Windows and Doors. These replacements must be Energy Star qualified. You can take a credit of 10 percent of the cost and up to $500 (windows capped at $200).  The catch on most of these credits is they need to be on existing principal residence property instead of a new home or rental units. The exception comes for large scale projects of small wind turbines, solar, and geothermal energy systems. These incentives can be used on new homes.  

    If you're thinking solar and live in California, Colorado, Connecticut, New Jersey, or Vermont, then be sure to check out Real Good Solar content where one lucky homeowner will win a free solar electric system for their home (up to 4 kilowatts DC) valued at up to $25,000.  
    You can enter this sweepstakes by visiting the following this link or by calling 888.56.SOLAR.  
    John Schaeffer, Residential President of Real Goods, commented, "What better way to lower utility bills than with solar? Our customers frequently see a return on investment of over 20% for a purchased solar system, or a low money down and lower monthly bills on a power plan purchase. We're happy to offer this sweepstakes to highlight the importance of converting to a solar economy!"  

    If you're like a large number of your neighbors who have chosen to stay put and remodel their homes during this down housing market then chances are you've put a substantial amount of money into your home. These tax credits add up quick so be sure to take all for which you qualify!

    Realty Times Carla Hill February 22, 2012
  • No comments: