House and Home March 2017
Where to Find Rebates, Tax Credits, and Rewards for Energy-Efficient Home Improvements
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If you're planning to make home improvements this year, you're probably thinking about energy-efficient options, knowing they can save you money in the long run. However, many eco-friendly home improvements that help lower your energy bills can also pay off right away in the form of rebates and tax credits.

Whether you're considering installing an energy-efficient tankless water heater, putting solar panels on your house, or adding a skylight, chances are you can find a program that will put cash back in your pocket for improving your home's energy efficiency. Here is where to look for rebates, tax credits, and rewards for your energy-efficient home improvements:

Qualifying Improvements
When you think of energy efficiency, insulation and appliances probably come to mind. But a number of improvements can help reduce your home's energy consumption, and many of them qualify for tax credits, rebates, and incentives from a variety of sources. The kind of improvements that can make your home more efficient and get you some cash back typically include:

Solar energy systems (such as solar panels)
Tankless water heaters
Solar-powered appliances
Energy-efficient windows and doors
Skylights and solar-powered blinds
Wood or wood-pellet stoves
Home wind turbines

Federal Tax Credits
Although many tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements expired at the end of 2016, there are some still available. The federal government offers a tax credit of up to 30 percent for home solar energy systems through December 31, 2019, and there's no upper limit on the credit according to EnergyStar.gov.

If you'll be making energy-efficient home improvements, be sure to talk to your professional tax preparer about any credits or deductions that may be available to you from the federal government.

Utility Company Incentives
Many utility companies also offer programs designed to help homeowners reduce energy consumption and save money. Typical programs include free LED or CFL bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs in a home and rebates or discounts for installing energy-efficient HVAC equipment or programmable thermostats.

The best way to find out what programs your local utility offers is to check out their website or give them a call. You can also find state-specific lists of programs at www.dsireusa.org.

Manufacturer Rebates and Incentives
Makers of energy-efficient products and appliances often offer their own rebates to homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. If you're considering an energy-efficient upgrade such as installing new windows, HVAC system, or tankless water heater, be sure to ask the retailer or installer about any available manufacturer's rebates. For example, Noritz, a tankless water heater company, often offers rebates on their energy-efficient products. The average American household spends nearly 18 percent of its energy use on heating water, at a cost of $200-$600 per year, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient because they only heat water when you need it, rather than constantly consuming fuel to keep water hot in a tank. To learn more about tankless water heaters and rebates visit www.noritz.com.

Energy-efficient home improvements pay off over the long term by reducing your home's energy consumption and utility bills. With a little bit of planning and legwork, you can also find rebates, tax credits, and incentive programs that will also repay your eco-friendly investment right away. To learn more visit Noritz.com, www.dsireusa.org, energy.gov, energystar.gov, and irs.gov.

William Brundage  -  (248) 980-2455 House and Home  -  March 2017 

William Brundage, Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel, 294 E Brown St , Birmingham MI 48009
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