As a Tacoma resident you’ve probably seen the advertisements and heard the sales pitches. Upgrade with a heating system installation, air conditioner, tankless water heater, or insulation and receive a federal rebate on your taxes for a percentage of the installation cost. The government is seriously invested in improving the energy efficiency of the country, cutting electric bills and helping people stay comfortable. Here’s a quick look at some of those rebates and how you can tap into them.
Energy Efficiency Credits
There is a standard tax credit of 10% of the cost up to $500 or a specific amount between $50 and $300 for any upgrade made to your existing home for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, insulation, roofs, or water heaters. These upgrades must be made on an existing home in which you currently live – rentals and new construction homes are not eligible.
Green Energy Credits
Even better credits are available if you plan on installing a geothermal heat pump, wind turbine or solar system – either PV panels or solar heating. The tax credit here is 30% of the cost with no upper limit. This applies to any existing or new homes and can be applied to both primary and secondary residences.
Are the Tax Credits Worth It?
The big question is whether these credits are worth the investment in a brand new system? For the most part, it depends on your particular situation. If you have a 30 year old furnace and are planning on an upgrade anyways, why not take advantage of a nice rebate and get a more energy efficient system to go with it? However, if you just replaced your furnace three years ago and it works very well with a high energy efficiency rating, it might not be worth the investment.
The Energy Star program run by the EPA contains detailed breakdowns of the 2011 tax credits, including what systems are eligible and how to go about claiming them on next year’s taxes. Learn more by visiting their official page, or calling Sound Heating