With winter approaching and the cost of oil skyrocketing, many homeowners are concerned about their heating and electric bills. By making some energy efficient changes in your home, not only will you lower you bills, you may also be eligible for federal or state tax incentives.
By installing energy efficient windows, doors and roofs, as well as insulation and energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, you can receive a one-time Federal tax credit worth up to $500. The following are the amounts allowed for each product and installation:
- 10% of the total cost of exterior windows, including skylights and storm windows (maximum amount is $200)
- 10% of the cost of insulation, exterior doors or pigmented metal roofs, including seals to limit air infiltration (maximum amount is $500)
- $300 for the purchase and installation of energy efficient HVACs, such as central air conditioners and air source heat pumps, and geothermal heat pumps, and for water heaters
- $150 for the purchase of certain gas, oil, propane furnaces or hot water boilers; and/or $50 for an efficient air-circulating fan in a furnace, including the installation cost.
- 30% of the cost of solar water heating and photovoltaic systems (maximum amount is $2,000)
- 30% of the cost of fuel cells (up to $1000 per kW of power that can be produced)
Note: The above do not apply to new construction; however, there are available tax credits for new homes that use photovoltaics, solar water heating and fuel cells. The tax incentives for the construction of new energy efficient homes has been extended until December 31, 2008. The installation of solar equipment in homes has also been extended as well. The other improvements listed above have not been extended and are slated to end December 31, 2007.
House members, such as Congressman Brian Baird, have worked to introduce legislations to extend the incentives through 2013. If you would like to contact your congressman (please, please do!!), do so here.
Many states have additional incentives that are available to homeowners. Below are just a few examples. Check your state government websites or the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency for more information. Below are some examples:
- NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) provides an incentive amountof $4-5/watt (DC rated capacity) for approved, grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) systems. While this program ends in 2007, it will likely be extended through 2009.
- CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) has a program called California Solar Initiatives that has an incentive up to $1500 for retrofitting systems for solar water heating.
- Central Florida Gas, as part of their Residential Home Builder Energy Efficient Rebate Program, offers a Utility Rebate Program where homeowners can receive the following:
- $450 per installed Gas Tankless heater
- $350 per installed Gas Water Heater
- $350 per installed Gas Furnace
- $100 per installed Gas Clothes Fryer
- $100 per installed Gas Range
So, check and see what’s available in your state, and contact your representative to make sure that the federal incentives get extended for at least a few more years — we have a long ways to go to green residences, and incentives are a great way to speed up the process!