In addition to the health and environmental benefits of living in a green home, there are tax credits. rebates, incentives and other breaks for adding eco-friendly products to your life. The $500 tax credit that came out of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 included, extended and/or amended many consumer tax incentives originally introduced in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This is a biggie for consumers because many of us will be faced with replacing something in this category next year; so save that Home Depot receipt because this will end up as a dollar-for-dollar reduction on your 2009 taxes if you itemize.
The U.S. government is offering consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in the home can receive a tax credit of up to $500 for improvements “placed in service” starting January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. The U.S. government’s ENERGY STAR® site connects consumers, home builders and others to federal tax credits for using energy-efficient products.
- DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, connects homeowners to local, state, federal and utility incentives available for switching to renewable or efficient energy use. I found that Rhode Island offers a personal tax credit for photovoltaic systems (on-grid and off-grid), solar hot-water systems, active solar-heating systems, wind-energy systems and geothermal-energy systems. The tax credit is equal to 25% (or up to $15k) of the system cost for residential installations. Cha-ching!
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency links to many of the sources of funding for green building that are available nationally and at the state and local levels for homeowners, industry, government organizations and nonprofits in the form of grants, tax credits, loans and other sources.
- Contractors receive a credit for constructing energy-efficient new homes that achieve a 30% or 50% reduction in heating and cooling energy consumption relative to a comparable dwelling. More information and additional tax breaks from the Department of Energy can be found here. The credit equals $1,000 for homes meeting a 30% efficiency standard, and $2,000 for homes meeting a 50% standard and is available through Dec. 31, 2009. This means our builder is getting $2000 in tax credits!
- Though a little clunky to use, and you have to have an idea of what you are looking for, patience or in my case an intern, homeowners and builders can find local incentives for building a LEED home at the USGBC’s public policy searchable database.
Check back with us on this story, we haven’t bought everything yet so it is too early to project our total and actual tax credits, rebates and overall savings but I intend to update this with projections and actual as we move along.
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