If you are planning to install solar panels or wind turbines, this is the time to act fast. In January 2009, Federal tax credits will be given to the U.S. homeowners who have invested money in renewable energy sources. So in addition to the savings in utility bills, these tax credits make renewable energy sources more lucrative.
On the installation of new gadgets for utilizing renewable energy, you can save up to 30%. The upper limit of tax credit is $2,000 for solar water heating, whereas solar electric systems are not capped. The tax credits are also available for reducing the energy consumption by adding insulation to homes, energy efficient windows or heaters. There is 10% tax credit available, up to a total of about $500, for these energy efficient measures. This will encourage people to join the energy policies of new administration.
Similar tax benefits were given in 2006, but they expired in 2008. The details of the program can be found on Energy Star website. Now, as a part of economic bailout package, tax credits are announced, starting from January, 2009. Last time, these tax credits were available only for solar energy, but now the benefits are extended to wind turbine with an upper limit of $4,000. Home fuel cells, geothermal heat pumps and biomass stoves are also included. If you want to lower the gas bills along with electricity, there are options for that too. The tax credits are available for plug-in hybrids of GM and Nissan. Some states also offer similar benefits to the homeowners for renewable energy initiatives. So collect the information and read the fine print to join the fight against global warming. For state incentives, check out the Database for State Incentives on Renewable Energy (DSIRE) website.