If you find that you are too cold when you ought to be warm or too warm when you ought to be cold, it might be time for a new HVAC System. If you are tired of running out of hot water, you might need a newer and larger water heater. If you’ve been telling yourself you can’t afford to buy a new HVAC system or a new water heater or that you don’t want to pay higher utility bills for larger units, it is time to start thinking differently.
These resources will help you with planning and budgeting:
The Economic Recovery Act (the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”) offers several Federal income tax credits to homeowners just like you who update their appliances and make their homes more efficient. These incentives are making energy efficiency remodels very attractive in 2009-2010 and beyond.
You can do some energy upgrading and claim a tax credit for 30% of the cost of the following items and systems, up to the total $1,500 credit limit per year:
You’ll want to ask questions before you buy to ensure that the items you buy qualify for the tax credits. Not all appliances with the EnergyStar label qualify.
If you are ready to switch to renewable energy, you will be eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost of the unit and installation with no limit on the amount you can claim. Renewable energy systems include:
  • Geothermal Heat Pump
  • Solar Water Heater
  • Photovoltaic (Solar Heating) System
  • Residential Small Wind Energy Systems
  • Residential Fuel Cell and microturbine systems
If you want to claim the tax credit, the system will need to be installed before December 31, 2016, and you must file IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) to claim the credit. 
Your state government, local government, and your utility companies might also have incentives that will help you with your energy efficiency remodel. A non-profit agency monitors and lists the incentive programs being offered by the various states and territories, as well as the local utility companies. By visiting www.dsireusa.org and clicking on your state, you can access a complete list of all types of incentives available to help you, including:
  • Low-interest loans
  • Grants
  • Sales tax exemptions
  • Personal Property or Real Estate Tax breaks
  • Rebates on your purchase price, and sometimes on installation costs
  • Personal tax exemptions and credits
  • Production incentives
  • And a number of other options
To decide what you can afford to do to upgrade your home and become more energy efficient,
  1. understand the federal tax credits available
  2. decide what you want to do
  3. review the lists of qualifying products
  4. Check the available state, local and utility programs available
  5. Decide what will be your most cost-efficient option
  6. Do your remodel.
Remember – energy efficiency remodeling is as cost effective as it is likely to be for a long time, and the savings you will enjoy as a result of your upgrade will continue month after month when you receive smaller electric, gas or oil bills from the utility company.  
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