Friday, March 27, 2009

Going Green Saves You Money

Energy conservation and green technologies have become all the rage these days, and there have never been better incentives to jump on the bandwagon. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — aka the stimulus bill — that President Obama signed into law on Feb. 17 extended tax credits that reward the use of energy-saving technology through 2010, raised the amount you get back from 10 percent of the cost to 30 percent, and raised the maximum credit available from $500 to $1,500 for efficient windows, doors, insulation and air conditioners, with no maximum cap on solar panels, solar water heaters or geothermal heat pumps.

But there’s a catch: Not every Energy Star product qualifies for the tax credits anymore. Only the highest-efficiency Energy Star models now do, and those products are usually the most expensive. (But they save you the most, too.) The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy created the Energy Star program in 1992 to help us save money on utilities and protect the environment through a product rating system. The program began with computers and monitors and has now grown to over 60 product categories. With the help of Energy Star, Americans saved $19 billion on our utility bills in 2008 — saving greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 29 million cars.

The federal government isn’t the only entity giving out money to conserve. The state of Florida offers up to $500 for solar thermal systems, $100 for solar thermal pool heaters and a $4-per-watt rebate for solar panels, which caps at $20,000 for residences and $100,000 for commercial properties.

The solar panel program has proven popular. The $5 million dollars allocated for both the fiscal years of 2008 and 2009 have already been exhausted. The state is still accepting applications and if the program receives funding for 2010 you can be put on a waiting list.

Read more at:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Popular Posts