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home with solar panels for home energy tax credits

Energy Tax Credits for Home Improvements

If you’ve considered making some green improvements to your home, you could actually end up saving some green—not only in lower energy costs, but from energy tax credits as well.

Available Energy Tax Credits for Homeowners

For the past several years, the government has offered tax credits to those who make energy efficient home improvements. A few to consider include:

• Geothermal heat pumps. This type of pump uses natural heat from the ground to heat and cool homes and water. A tax credit of 30% can help offset the cost.

• Residential wind turbines. These smaller-scale wind turbines convert air to electricity and may also be eligible for a 30% tax credit.

• Solar energy systems. These systems include solar water heaters and solar panels and use the sun’s energy to power the home. The tax credit for solar systems also includes installation costs.

• Energy efficient windows. Replacing old windows in your home with Energy-Star rated models qualifies you for a 10% tax credit.

In order to qualify for these energy tax credits, the improvements must be made to your primary residence. You can find detailed information about how to claim tax credits on Energy Star’s website.

Benefits of Energy Efficient Home Improvements

It’s true, most of these upgrades are expensive. (To give you an idea, installing solar panels on an average-sized home costs an average of $10,000.) However, in addition to the tax credits, there are other benefits that come with making green improvements to your home.

• Utility savings. Installing upgrades can also help you save on your utility bills; for example, installing Energy-Star rated windows can cut your heating and cooling bills by $500 a year.
• Increased home value. More and more buyers are looking for energy efficient homes. With savings and an increase in your home’s value, you can recoup much of your initial investment.

It may be expensive, but the savings that come from installing energy-saving home improvements—including generous tax credits—can help offset the costs. In the end, you’ll have the benefit of knowing you made a positive impact on the environment and made a little money at the same time.