Considering Home Improvements? Here’s Why You Should Go Green.
We are passing through a critical juncture in energy awareness. The looming threats of global climate change, peak oil and dependence on foreign oil have foregrounded the energy crisis. Never has there been so much demand—or so much need—for green technology.
In response, federal and state governments have created subsidies to encourage the development of sustainable technologies. Yet critics say that these subsidies are ballooning out of control and costing the public too much in lost revenue.
Now is the time to take advantage of these incentives—before they are reduced or removed altogether. They’re a great way to offset costs and, in the long run, the energy they conserve will save you money (not to mention save the planet!).
Green Energy Incentives for Homeowners
The federal government gives tax breaks primarily for weatherization and alternative energy projects—generally covering 30% of the cost up to a maximum of $1,500. Doors, windows, skylights, insulation, roofing and water heaters all fall under this coverage. The federal government also gives a 30%-of-cost tax break to residential solar electricity, wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps with no cap, meaning they’re on the hook for as much as you want to spend. Many state governments also offer incentives.
Here in Oregon we not only have the Residential Energy Tax Credit program, which provides tax breaks similar to the federal incentives, but also cash-back rebates from the Energy Trust of Oregon. Many energy efficient home improvements and renewable energy projects are covered by at least two of these programs, while some fall under all three (cha-ching!). The Energy Trust’s website is a great resource for finding out what’s covered by which incentives. Cruise on over to their residential section to check out what’s available.
In other locations around the country, you have to opportunity to reduce your energy bills with air conditioning preventive maintenance, because efficient HVAC systems ultimately use much less energy. If you’ve got the means, you might consider installing a more energy efficient air conditioning unit. If that’s the case and you’re in or around the southern California area, call on the HVAC professionals at McLay Air Conditioning Services of La Verne, California.