What did Kermit Sing? It isn’t easy being green? Being green does take work and initiative in todays’ society; however being green also pays it forward for the environment we inhabit. Purchases of appliances, new windows, heating and cooling systems may have the added value of qualifying for tax credits and tax incentives.
Local governments, state governments and utility companies offer a variety of rebates, tax credits and tax incentives. A little research is necessary before purchasing to ensure your new appliance or heating and cooling system qualifies, but the research may be monetarily rewarded if you qualify.
DSIRE Is An Excellent Resource Site For Tax Credits
The DSIRE website is a valuable resource when seeking information throughout the United States for tax credits, rebates, energy efficient incentives plus local, state and federal programs.
DSIRE provides an easy to use United States locator for all programs in its’ database.
The database is quite extensive and I found newer programs in my state that I had been previously unaware for residential and commercial dwellings. The site is provided by the U.S. Department Of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center.
Window Replacement Federal Tax Credit Ending 2016
One of the federal tax credits is ending December 31, 2016; this is for energystar certified windows, skylights and doors installed BY December 31, 2016. Information on applying for this credit is available here. Consumers can receive a credit of 10% for the cost of windows and skylights with the max credit of $200.00 for windows and skylights and $500 for doors.
Federal PowerSaver Loans – Energy Efficient Improvements
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is offering low interest loans under the PowerSaver program to assist homeowners committed to making their homes energy efficient.
Eligible home upgrades include:
- air sealing
- hot water systems
- smart thermostats
- solar panels
Three levels of loans are available if a homeowner meets the loan criteria. This is a homeowner incentive program and a partnership between Energy Star progam sponsors, financial lenders and BPI contractors. Full details are available at the PowerSaver Loan resource site.
Home Performance With Energy Star
This is a national program by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate the energy efficiency of your home. Local sponsors and BPI certified contractors have joined to assist the homeowner to maximize the potential for an energy efficient home.
In many states the local sponsor is the utility company for the incentives, tax credits and rebates. There is a fee for the BPI evaluation which varies by city, state and location. The DSIRE locator above can help you locate programs.
Simple Ways To Be Green
- Consider installing a tankless hot water heater.
- Replace windows with energy efficient windows. Your home will be quieter and less expensive to heat and cool. Many local utilities offer rebates for window replacement. My state offers a $15 per window rebate through the local electric company.
- Conserve heat to keep your heating bill lower.
- Utilize storm doors in the winter months. In older homes the screens may need to be switched out to storm inserts in the Fall; the labor can be well worth the energy gains.
- Only use the dishwasher when fully loaded. Consider using the air dry option to save energy.
- Thermal curtains and window liners can be utilized to keep cold out in the winter and the sun out in the summer. Liners can be purchased to use with your already installed window treatments.
- Conserve on using the oven when unnecessary. Microwaves and toaster ovens (I love my toaster oven!) offer a less costly heating option.
- Evaluate the possible tax credits prior to purchasing Energy Star products.
TIPS To Apply For Rebates
Apply early in the calendar year for energy efficient rebates and tax credits! Why? Because rebate programs sponsored by your local utility company have an annual budget and once the ceiling is reached for the year the funds are not available. My experience in a northern state (who wants to replace windows in the winter? brrr) is the warmer weather brings home improvements and the companies begin warning customers that funds are limited by late summer. Plan ahead if possible to take advantage of these programs!