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By Amanda Goucher
The Federal Government continues to provide incentives to homeowners to help encourage improvements in energy efficiency. Credit opportunities exist for everything from cars and appliances to homes and buildings. With more available options for energy-efficient appliances and products, a tax incentive is a wonderful way for the public to become more aware of green alternatives.
Credits are available for both residential and commercial buildings. Many credits are based on standards for the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) or Energy Star, and must meet International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Tax credit details for home improvements:
An eligible residential project could include new roofing using metal or reflective shingles that meet ENERGY STAR standards. In this case, the tax credit would be for 30% of the cost of roofing materials only, up to $1,500. This is one of many examples of residential upgrades. The ENERGY STAR website and www.dsireusa.org have many more specific examples (and ideas) for green residential upgrades and describe any stipulations there in.
Tax credits in the commercial sector include a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for owners or designers of new or existing commercial buildings that can save at least 50% of the heating and cooling energy of a building meeting ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001. Windows, doors, and skylights are also a great way to take advantage of this credit program.
For a complete list of products and requirements, qualifications, and instructions on how to apply for these credits, visit the Energy Star website (energystar.gov/taxcredits). You can also find Frequently Asked Questions about the tax credits there.
Amanda Goucher is NAR's Green Designation Coordinator.