Less than one month remains to tackle home improvement projects if you want to take advantage of energy efficiency tax credits authorized under the federal stimulus bill. Measures that qualify include replacing windows, doors, or roofs with materials that reduce your home’s heat loss or gain; adding insulation; replacing certain air conditioners; and installing air-source heat pumps, hot-water boilers, and biomass stoves.
“We want to make sure our members know about these tax credits and can take advantage of them before they expire on December 31, 2010,” Kosciusko REMC President and CEO Steve Rhodes said. “This is an incredible opportunity for folks to invest in residential energy efficiency and see energy bill savings right away.”
Thirty percent ― up to $1,500 — of the costs associated with buying and installing heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and biomass stoves are eligible. Installation costs are not covered for windows, doors, roofing, and insulation.
ENERGY STAR, a joint program of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides guidelines on what qualifies for the tax credit at www.energystar.gov/taxcredits. Tax credits are especially beneficial as they directly reduce, dollar for dollar, any taxes you owe.
“These are tough times, and we know it’s important for our members to keep their monthly electric bills as low as possible,” Rhodes said. “Making home energy efficiency upgrades offers a great way to save energy and money, and these tax credits can help make that a reality.”
The government also offers a renewable energy tax credit that expires Dec. 31, 2016. That credit covers 30 percent of the cost of materials and installation for solar panels, solar water heaters, and geothermal heat pumps, for both new and existing homes. KREMC members should check with Energy Advisor Carol Presley for advice on what system makes sense for their home. She can be reached at (574) 267-6331, 1-800-790-7362, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Be sure to keep your receipts and your Manufacturer’s Certification Statement (a signed statement from the manufacturer certifying that the product or component you purchase qualifies for the tax credit) for your records. Then claim the credit on your 2010 taxes using IRS Form 5695.
KREMC is currently offering additional rebates for heat pump systems, Energy Star® washing machines, and a $35 incentive for turning in a second fridge or freezer for recycling. The co-op also regularly offers rebates on electric water heaters and geothermal and heat pump systems.
For a list of state and local energy efficiency assistance available, visit the Database for State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, a project funded by DOE, at www.dsireusa.org.