12 Energy Improvements Eligible for Rebates or Tax Credit
Creating a more energy-efficient home is not just beneficial to individual homeowners looking to reduce utility bills, but it is also a big step in curbing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the use of fossil fuels across the country. Because of this, energy improvements are being taken very seriously by federal, state and even some local governments. As a result, energy improvements are now often eligible for rebates and tax credits. While the magnitude of such credits can change from project to project and from place to place, no matter where you are it is worth your time to take a look at which are right for your property.
Which Energy Improvements Are Eligible?
While there are many improvements that will increase the function of your home, not every one will be considered an “energy-efficient improvement.” Again, the eligibility of a project can vary by location, but upgrading the following home components is often considered an energy improvement:
- Exterior windows and skylights
- Storm windows
- Exterior doors
- Storm doors
- Metal roofs
- Central air conditioning
- Air-source heat pumps
- Geothermal heat pumps
- Gas, oil or propane furnace, or hot-water boiler
- Advanced main air-circulating fan
- Electric heat pump water heater
Solar energy components are also typically considered an energy efficiency improvement, and the inclusion of these in a remodel or new construction will do wonders both for your home’s overall energy consumption and your monthly utility bills.
Energy Star and Energy Efficiency Improvements
The federal government’s Energy Star program makes upgrading appliances and other home components easy. By purchasing replacements that are labeled with the Energy Star seal, you are not only increasing the odds your replacement will be eligible for some sort of incentive, but also you are assuring yourself the item you purchased meets high standards. Many different name appliance brands offer models that are Energy Star-certified, which means that you will have plenty of companies you already trust to choose from.
Are Energy Improvements More Efficient Than Your Current Set Up?
It is important to realize that in many cases, keeping the home components you have until they no longer function is the most eco-friendly option. Just like building a new house requires more energy than purchasing an existing one, that old fridge you’ve had for 20 years might not run as efficiently as a brand new model, but the fewer fridges you purchase over your lifetime, the fewer need to be produced. That being said, one of the best things you can do for the environment is to keep all of your appliances and home components well-maintained so they will last as long as possible and perform well over their long lives. Annual furnace inspections, A/C tune-ups, and calling for service as soon as you know it’s needed for any malfunctioning components are each words to live by if you want to produce as little waste as possible over your lifetime.
Unfortunately, no matter how well you maintain them, all appliances and home components will need to be replaced at some point. When that time comes, remember that Energy Star products and efficient improvements are your best options to keep your home running well and wasting as little as possible.
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