Turning off the lights when you leave a room and keeping a moderate finger on the thermostat during the summer and winter months can save you money on your monthly utilities; however, with the federal tax incentives available in the US, renewable energy upgrades are more affordable than ever and can make an even bigger impact on your pocketbook and the environment.
The IRS tax credit for renewable energy solutions for your home covers up to thirty percent of the cost of residential solar fuel cells and wind turbine systems. To get the credit, the energy system must be for your primary residence – rental properties cannot claim this credit.
Energy Efficiency Tax Credit
If you’ve made energy efficient improvements to your home, you can claim this credit good for up to $500 of the cost of materials and installation. Purchases and installations that allow you to claim the Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit include high efficiency:
- Heating Equipment
- Cooling Equipment
- Water Heater
- Heat-Reducing Roof materials
- Biomass Stoves
- Attic and Whole House Fans
Electric Cars and Credits
There’s good news if you’ve purchased a full electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle…good news in the amount of a $2,500 – $7,500 tax credit. Nothing says going green like driving green. And when you drive green, the IRS wants to give you back some green.
Federal Tax Credits for All-Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles cover vehicles that were manufactured by a certified car maker, not vehicles that have been converted to electrics or hybrids. This credit doesn’t cover golf carts or go karts. A full list of credit amounts and requirements can be found at the government’s fuel economy website.
If you’re ready to make the commitment to a renewable energy system or even just update a few appliances to energy-efficient models, you may also qualify for rebates and other incentives from your local utility companies. Both LADWP and SoCalGas offer various programs for customers looking to become more energy conscious.