Something often overlooked in the decision to switch to energy efficient systems and fixtures is the potential to receive government or other rebates that can significantly lower taxes or purchase prices. The U.S. government offers tax credits for some energy-efficient home improvements, such as replacement windows and roofing. Many of these credits are more easily found by using a professional tax preparer or software package. Alternative energy equipment such as solar water heaters, solar electricity equipment and wind turbines are eligible for a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the cost of the qualified improvement, according to the IRS. The credit is available through the end of 2016 and can be claimed on your federal tax return.
Some state, county and municipal governments also have credit programs for energy-efficient home improvements. Visit www.dsireusa.org to view a clickable map of U.S. states where such rebates are available. Choose your state, and you’ll see a list of county, municipal and state programs that may be available to you. In Michigan, for example, Nextek’s home state, there are a variety of loan and grant programs from both the state and city entities. There are also rebate programs available from utility providers.
The savings from some manufacturer’s rebates can be significant. If you’re in the market for a new energy-efficient appliance, water heater or HVAC unit, look for manufacturer’s rebates. Some manufacturers of eco-friendly HVAC systems, water heaters, pool and spa heaters, and boilers, offer cash-back incentives at certain times during the year when homeowners purchase a qualifying system.