As of the end of 2010, the $1,500 tax credit for energy efficient home upgrades that was included as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will expire. From the perspective of many home owners and home improvement companies, this tax credit was a great idea as it stimulated an industry that was badly affected by the economic slowdown of the past couple of years and allowed homeowners the benefit of greater energy efficiency at a subsidized rate. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and this program was no exception. Due to a renewed focus on the Federal debt, this level of Federal support was not included in the recently passed tax bill.
Fortunately, there is a new program in place. Although the 2011 tax credit will not equal the ARRA program, the 25c residential energy efficiency tax credit remains in place at its pre-ARRA level. This credit allows for a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price of Energy Star qualifying windows up to a maximum of $200. While this is a significant reduction in the government aid, it still makes sense to invest in the energy efficiency of your home. Over time the cost of these types of home improvements will be recouped by the homeowner both through lower energy bills as well as through an increase in the value of their home.
Various types of home improvements can offer significant energy savings. Whether it is new windows or doors or additional insulation or a new HVAC system these types of upgrades are good investments regardless of the level of government assistance that is available. While the actual level of savings will depend on the type of specific upgrades purchased and the efficiency level of the existing product, there is no doubt that as time goes by, the cost of energy will only increase so taking steps now to reduce energy usage makes sense.
Unfortunately many homeowners do not know the best way to improve their efficiency and therefore often proceed to make home improvements without an overall strategy. This is where a quality company like Legacy Remodeling is able to help. A good quality home improvement company will have professionals on staff who are able to assist homeowners in developing a long term plan for upgrading their home. Qualifications such as being trained and certified by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) or the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) are great credentials for sorting out the companies who really know their stuff and are interested in helping homeowners in saving energy versus those who are simply looking for their next sale. I have attended courses through both of these organizations and utilize this training to assist the home improvement consultants at Legacy in taking this approach to how they advise the homeowners they visit with.
By combining this results driven approach to home energy upgrades with the more moderate tax credit which is now available, homeowners are still able to improve the efficiency and value of their home in a way which will eventually pay for itself, and which will be a net positive in the long term. If you are interested in learning more about how to best improve your home, please contact Legacy Remodeling for a free consultation.