Green is not just about St Paddy’s anymore

Green Globe HandsSeems like with March St Patrick's Day upon us, people are pulling out all the stops for green. But these days, green has a lot more to do with environmentally friendly issues than leprechauns. There are some great tax incentives for those who seek them out. People are often surprised at the wide range of home improvements that qualify for federal tax credits. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (signed on February 17, 2009, by President Obama) made major changes to homeowner tax credits for specified energy-efficient home improvements. Some of the more significant changes include the extension of the tax credit through 2010 and the increase in the total available tax credit from 10% to 30% of the purchase price of many items.

While some of these items have a long return on investment, even with the tax credit, there is still the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your part to help reduce energy consumption. Some of the more obvious things to consider with the most impact on energy as well cost savings are:

  • Hot water heaters
  • Windows
  • Insulation and weather-stripping
  • Doors and skylights

If you really want to cut deep into your energy consumption, and even perhaps become a producer who feeds back into the grid and gets energy credits, you can consider generating your own power. These have up to a 30 percent tax credit available and include solar energy systems, small wind turbines, and fuel cells.

To learn more about what tax breaks you can get, go to the Department of Energy's website. They list out all the various credits and time lines and show the efficiencies that can be obtained.