New Tax Incentives for Greening Your Home
Still looking for ways to lower your taxes? Greening your home means you can get more greenbacks in return. The stimulus plan approved by Congress in February offers tax credits for making your home more energy efficient. For tax tips, the Green Home turned to Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, a nonprofit group that advocated some of these credits.
How can the new tax law make our homes greener?
Uncle Sam is offering up to $1,500 in tax credit for energy-efficiency upgrades like new insulation and windows. The credits are worth 30 percent of the total cost for the upgrades. For example, if you spent $3,000 on eligible windows, you can get back $900.
What exactly is covered? Can I get money back for weather stripping?
Yes. There are four types of upgrades that are covered. The first batch are home-shell improvements like insulation, windows and sealing. These are designed to make the home tighter and close up leaks. The next batch are home heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, or HVAC. This includes efficient air-conditioners and furnaces. A third batch is renewable energy technology like geothermal heat pumps, solar water heating, small wind generators and photovoltaic systems. The last batch — and perhaps the most popular — are hybrid and diesel cars.