Take Advantage of Tax Credits Before It’s Too Late!
Did you know that the tax credits for eco-friendly home improvements and products end December 31, 2010? If you have been considering “going green” at your home or are in need of some basic home maintenance, you may want to take advantage of these tax credits right away – before it’s too late. These tax credits were first enacted in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, but were extended and expanded upon in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
Items covered by the current tax credits include:
- Biomass Stoves – These stoves burn biomass fuel to heat a home or heat water. Biomass fuel includes plants, grasses, wood, wood waste, and more. Requires thermal efficiency rating of at least 75% as measured using a lower heating value.
- Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning (HVAC) – This category includes items such as advanced main air circulating fan; air-source heat pumps (good for moderate climates); central air conditioning; gas, propane, or oil hot water boiler; natural gas or propane furnace; and oil furnace. Visit http://www.energystar.gov to learn the requirements for each individual item.
- Insulation – Adding adequate insulation to your home is one of the most energy-efficient upgrades you can do. Insulation like batts, rolls, blow-in fibers, rigid boards, expanding spray, and pour-in-place can qualify, as can products that reduce air leaks like weather stripping, spray foam, air sealing caulk and house wrap. Make sure they come with a Manufacturers Certification Statement.
- Roofing – Metal roofs with appropriate pigmented coatings and asphalt roofs with suitable cooling granules that meet ENERGY STAR requirements are eligible for these tax credits. If you need a new roof, these qualified products reflect more of the sun’s rays, which can lower roof surface temperature by up to 100F. This will help decrease the amount of heat transferred into your home, and save you money on cooling your home.
- Non-solar Water Heaters – Gas, Oil or Propane Water Heaters OR Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters are covered under these tax credits. Conventional water heating can equate to 14-25% of the energy consumed in your home.
- Energy Efficient Windows, Skylights and Doors – When properly installed, these can help reduce energy bills. Installing storm windows and doors offers a less expensive alternative and can also improve energy efficiency as they combine with you current windows and doors to create a barrier between the interior of your home and the weather outside.
Consumers who purchase these items for their CURRENT primary residence are eligible for a tax credit of 30% of their cost, with a cap of $1,500. Second homes, rental properties and new construction homes are not eligible for these credits. Often, installation costs are covered as part of the total cost of the product.
If you’re REALLY serious about energy efficiency, these tax credits are extended through December 31, 2016 for the following eco-friendly home improvements:
- Wind Energy Systems – A residential wind turbine collects kinetic energy from the wind and converts it to electricity that is compatible with your home’s electrical system. To qualify, your turbine must have a nameplate capacity of no more than 100 kilowatts.
- GeoThermal Heat Pumps – These use the earth’s natural heat to provide heating, air conditioning, and – in some cases – hot water go your home. They are among the most efficient and comfortable heating and cooling technologies available today.
- Solar Energy Systems – These include Solar Panels that capture light energy from the sun and convert it directly into electricity and Solar Water Heaters that use the sun’s thermal energy to heat water for the home. To qualify, at least half of the home’s energy generation must come from the sun.
- Fuel Cells – Thought to be the future of energy, fuel cells offer a cleaner, more-efficient alternative to the combustion of gasoline and other fossil fuels. To qualify, your residential fuel cells must offer an efficiency of at least 30% and have a capacity of at least 0.5 kW.
Items that fall under those four categories are eligible for 30% of the total cost in tax credits with no upper limit, except for fuel cells which have a cap of $500 per .5 kW of power capacity. Rentals and second homes are NOT eligible for these credits, but existing primary residences and new construction homes are.
Highlight Homes and Highlight Home Restoration is committed to green building and quality construction – whether building a custom home from the ground up or renovating an existing home. It’s never lost on us that the materials we use, including the very framework with which we base our homes or home additions, are among some of our most precious natural resources. With our combined love of building fine homes and doing our part to protect the environment, Highlight Homes is most proud of our distinction for being a Green Builder. Aside from the great care we devote to developing special communities featuring an abundance of beautiful green space, Highlight Homes and Highlight Home Restorations also places a major emphasis on designing homes and home additions that reduce energy consumption and material waste. The benefit to the homeowner is found not only in their utility bills, but also in the comfort, durability and air quality of their home – effectively enhancing their quality of life.
Our dedication to developing our own Earth-friendly initiatives and carefully following green building guidelines are an important piece of what sets us apart from other Atlanta builders. In order to become a certified Green Builder, certain criteria must be met and recognized by third-party certification programs such as Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Building Program, Energy Star and Earth Craft House. Highlight Homes has certifications from all four of these nationally and regionally recognized programs. When you’re ready to go green, Highlight Home Restoration can help! It’s as simple as picking up the phone – call us TODAY at 678-873-9234. You can also reach our talented team of designers and builders by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or filling out our online contact form.
Act now before it’s too late! So many new and repeat homebuyers missed out on the homebuyer tax credits of $6,500 to $8,000 by not entering into a binding contract by April 30, 2010. While many have received an extension through September 30, 2010 to complete the purchase of their new home – if they didn’t have a signed contract by the end of April, they no longer qualify. REMEMBER – in order to meet the criteria for the energy efficient home improvement tax credits, you must have your products purchased and installed by the December 31st deadline to make a claim on your 2010 taxes.Sources: “Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency” Energy Star http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index “Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency” Department of Energy – Energy Savers http://www.energysavers.gov/financial/70010.html