Are you thinking of purchasing a new home appliance, replacing your windows, or installing an alternative energy source? As a homeowner, reducing utility bills might be your main incentive when you decide to install energy-efficient measures. But if you do some research, you may find that you can stuff some extra cash in your pocket by purchasing items eligible for rebates and applying for certain tax credits.
The U.S. government offers several programs to incentivize homeowners to make energy-efficient upgrades, so why shouldn’t you take advantage of them? Don’t dive into your project without learning all of your options. To make the search process easier, we’ve compiled a list of the very best ways to find qualifying rebates and tax credits on your home improvement project.
Federal Tax Credits
Tax credits for energy-efficient measures change almost every year, so keep up-to-date on what incentives the federal government is offering for installing energy-efficient measures. Homeowners can receive up to a total of $500 in tax credit for installation of qualifying elements such as central air conditioning, roofs, and windows. Even better, if you’re overhauling your home’s energy source, you can also get 30% off the total cost of solar energy systems, geothermal systems, residential small wind turbines, or fuel cells.
Energy Star is a government-funded program that, among other things, certifies qualifying products as being preferred by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to efficient energy usage. Some Energy Star products and appliances may qualify for instant or mail-in rebates in partnership with your local utility provider. Enter your zip code into the search box to find a list of what’s available in your area.
U.S. Department of Energy Tax Credits, Rebates, & Savings
Aside from federal tax credits, the Department of Energy has compiled a list of other incentives available from counties, cities, and utilities. To find what rebates you may be eligible for, search for your state and click “Filter by Eligibility: Residential.” Results may be further refined by selecting an option from the “Filter by Savings Category” menu.
Your Hardware Store
If you’re having trouble navigating the plethora of information above, visit your local hardware store. They are well-versed in which appliances are Energy Star certified, and of those, which qualify for rebates from utility companies. Your hardware store’s website may also explicitly state which items qualify.
Once you determine which incentives you want to take advantage of, make sure you get your money. Instant and mail-in rebates are the simplest to redeem, but don’t be afraid to apply for tax credits if you qualify for them. Use IRS Form 5695, “Residential Energy Credits,” and file it with the rest of your taxes.
Even with all of the benefits of added value and better efficiency, no home improvement project is without cost. But by checking the resources listed above, you can quickly find which projects and appliances can offset the expense by rewarding you with cash in hand. And with these rebates, you may find that you can afford more than you think!