Home Energy Tax Credits – How You Can Benefit

Congress has now passed a total of 2 bailout bills in less than six months and in both pieces of legislation are a suite of tax incentives for homeowners and consumers interested in energy efficiency and using renewable energy sources in their homes and cars.  President Obama’s latest stimulus plan extended many of the tax credits and abolished caps on some of the incentives.

So what can consumers take advantage of in these new bills?

Energy Effiency

On next year’s tax return, you can claim a home tax credit for any improvements made to your home’s energy efficiency, specifically if you installed new insulation, energy-efficient windows or an energy-efficient furnace, boiler or air conditioner. Originally this tax credit was for $500 and expired in 2007 but has been renewed and now extends up to $1,500.  The bill also extended the amount of coverage per project by 10%, making it a woping 30% under new law.  So do $5,000 of work and receive a $1,500 tax credit AND reap all the energy savings. 

Home Energy Credit for Geothermal, Solar, Wind

The current bill also removed the $2,000 cap that had been placed on geothermal heat pumps, leaving in place the 30% tax rebate on qualified solar energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines, and fuel cell systems.

Geothermal heat systems (look for more info on how GLSL is incorporating this into the house project in an upcoming post!) use the constant temperature in the ground (between 50-60 degrees year-round)  to cool air or water in the summer, and heat it in the winter — both of which reduce the cost of heating or cooling year round.

In addition, the solar energy tax credit is now good through 2016.

Plug-In Hybrid Cars

The stimulus bill laid out specific plans for tax rebates for the first brave adopters of plug-in hybrid vehicles.  The first 200,000 buyers of each plug-in hybrid from each manufacturer will now qualifty for a $7,500 tax rebate.  (Hmm, maybe time to trade in my Civic?)  Prior to the bailout bill, the tax credit had been capped at $3,500.

Improving your home’s (and your life) energy efficiency can not only save you dollars in heating and electric bills but can also give you a nice little check from the government. 

via The Daily Green

Posted by: Ashley (not the intern) / ashleyatcaster on Twitter

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