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GOVERNMENTS AND UTILITIES OFFER HOMEOWNERS INCENTIVES TO MAKE ENERGY-EFFICIENT UPGRADES

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(Quote) “Its easy to underestimate the real cost of home ownership”. Suze Orman

 

A number of federal tax credits for residential energy efficiency have been renewed.  These tax credits apply to purchases made in 2016 and retroactively to purchases made in 2015.

In addition, several state and local governments and utilities offer rebates, property tax exemptions, and other incentives to encourage residential energy efficiency.

Homeowners may be eligible for tax credits on their federal and/or state returns, even for smaller energy-efficient upgrades in their homes.  Examples of such upgrades, and the federal tax credit amounts available for such upgrades, include:

  • Biomass stoves ($300)
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning ($300)
  • Gas, propane, or oil hot water boilers ($150)
  • Gas, propane, or oil furnaces and fans ($150 for furnace; $50 for advanced main air circulating fan)
  • Advanced main air-circulating fans ($50)
  • Insulation (10% of cost, up to $500)
  • Roofs (metal and asphalt) (10% of cost)
  • Water heaters ($300 for non-solar)
  • Windows, doors and skylights (10% of cost excluding labor)
  • Geothermal heat pumps (30% of cost)
  • Small wind turbines (residential) (30% of cost)
  • Solar energy systems (30% of cost)
  • Fuel cells (residential) (30% of cost)

Homeowners should also be aware of and take advantage of rebate programs offered by their utility companies.

For example, Virginia Dominion Power offers several energy saving incentives,1such as:

  • Smart Cooling Rewards: Homeowner receives a $40 bill credit annually for cycling A/C on high use days
  • Income and Age Qualifying Home Improvement: Energy audit and improvements for income and age qualifying homeowners
  • Home Energy Check-Up: Includes rebates for direct install measures
  • Heat Pump Tune-Up: Rebate for maintenance tune-up of existing units
  • Heat Pump Upgrade: Rebate for upgrading to more efficient heat pump unit
  • Duct Sealing: Rebate for having poorly performing duct & air distribution systems repaired
  • Appliance Recycling: Rebate for recycling refrigerators & freezers

PEPCO likewise offers energy saving incentives to its Maryland customers,2such as:

  • Peak Energy Savings Credit – Receive credits off your bill by reducing your energy usage during designated hours on Peak Savings Days.
  • Energy Wise Rewards – Receive up to $160 off your bill in the first year and get a web-programmable thermostat or outdoor switch installed at no charge.
  • Lighting Program – Instantly save up to $10 on your purchase of ENERGY STAR certified lighting at participating retailers.
  • HVAC Efficiency Program – Earn up to $1,800 in rebates when you upgrade to energy efficient HVAC equipment.
  • Appliance Rebate Program – Rebates up to $500 for purchasing select ENERGY STAR certified appliances.

Appliance Recycling Program – Rebate of $50 your old, working refrigerator or freezer.

The District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) offers a rebate program to provide incentives to District of Columbia residents to install energy- efficient equipment in their homes. Rebates are available for energy-efficient lighting, water heaters, boilers, furnaces, and appliances.  The program expires on September 30, 2016.3

The DCSEU provides additional incentives up to $1,800 to homeowners for insulation, sealing, and HVAC improvements through its DC Home Performance program.4

The District of Columbia also offers a 100% personal property tax exemption for solar energy systems and cogeneration systems within the Distric

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