What are Some Rebates & Savings Tips for Your Home
The US government began mapping out its energy efficiency policy in The Disco Era. It’s developed a comprehensive collection of energy rebates and tax credits since then in the hope that it can affect change, one conscientious homeowner at a time. It’s never been cheaper to be an ecowarrior. Corporate partnerships, governmental policies, and Energy Star research have fueled a massive drive towards rewarding citizens for their energy productivity. If you build a tight eco-friendly home improvement strategy, you can shrink your utility bills and expand your rebates in tandem.
How do you get energy rebates?
Tax credits subtract from the money you owe when you file for taxes, while rebates put cash directly into your hands after a purchase. It’s easy to see why most homeowners prefer the latter, but nothing worthwhile ever comes easily. There are currently no federal rebates for energy-efficient purchases in the United States, so you’ll need to trawl through the Database of State Incentives to hunt down your state-specific options. Some states offer rebates for sustainable energy utilities like:
- Food service equipment like refrigerators and freezers
- Lighting, LED choices, sensors, and lighting controls
- Furnaces and boilers
- Occupancy sensors
- Water heaters and tankless units
- Heat pumps and air conditioners.
You can expect a rebate as small as $25 or as large as $300 on each purchase. Some regions take a slightly different approach by offering rebates per energy unit saved, while others offer mail-in rebates through Energy Star partnerships. The latter will require you to snail mail your proof of purchase, and many deliver savings in the form of a pre-loaded debit card. Before you track down your closest postbox, make sure you include the documentation required on the box.
HVAC units use more energy than any other residential technology, so they’re one of the easiest ways to put cash into your pocket. Broadly, HVAC-related energy rebates cover two separate purchases: the cost of the technology itself and the insulation required to maximize its energy efficiency. The former is relatively straightforward. Buy an Energy Star-rated HVAC appliance, then collect the credits and rebates. The more efficiently you reduce power consumption, the better your rebates become, so it pays to choose wisely.
Is there a tax credit for insulation?
Most governments rely on SEER and HSPF ratings to determine energy efficiency, and that gives you plenty of scope for maximizing your cash-in-hand. The right insulation can increase your SEER rating by two points, so a high R-rating will affect your pocket via both your utility bills and energy rebates. Insulating features like siding and windows can earn you a tax credit of up to $500, but there are several other assistance programs in play. Residential energy efficient property credits, for example, weren’t designed for siding or windows, but they can certainly be claimed for making your home more energy-efficient. There are also local programs that may apply.
Is there a tax credit for a new roof?
A roof replacement can be a highly profitable project when handled strategically. The IRS treats significant home updates as capital improvements, so your roofing needs to give you an energy upgrade if you’re to reap those rewards. Metal and asphalt roofing qualify if they include an Energy Star certified pigment or cooling granule.
Insulating features can bring your utility bills down by 15%, which equates to a $200 energy saving every year. Don’t let that be your only reward, though. If you access all the tax credits and energy rebates available, you can recoup your installation costs before you even have time to lick a stamp.