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Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Improvements

Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Improvements 

EnochIt’s tax season, and if you’re like me, you’re probably looking for any opportunity to save on your returns. Did you know that under the American Taxpayer Relief Act, you can claim up to a $500 tax credit to cover the costs of energy-efficient upgrades to your home?

This federal tax credit applies to any projects completed last year (between January 1 and December 31, 2012), as well as those you plan to take on this year, as long as the upgrades are in place by the end of 2013. The credit can be applied to a wide variety of improvement projects, including insulation, windows, air sealing, natural gas and propane furnaces, electric heat pumps, central air conditioning units, air-source heat pumps and natural gas, propane or oil water heaters. That’s a lot of opportunity to make your home more efficient!

If you’re considering an upgrade for this year, insulation can be a cost-effective way to make a big difference in the efficiency of your home. Insulation helps keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, saving you money on your heating and cooling costs but also making your home more comfortable.

Speaking of heating and cooling, that equipment can account for nearly half of your energy expenses. While upgrading your furnace or central air conditioning unit can be a major investment, it’s one that will earn you significant savings on your energy bills.

When planning upgrades for this year, don’t forgot to check out the rebates and financing options available through Energize Connecticut. For many projects, you can take advantage of rebates, financing options and the federal tax credit, and suddenly your home improvement project can be much more affordable. When I replaced the windows in my house (going for an efficient upgrade, of course), I was able to cover almost half the cost through participation in Energize Connecticut’s Home Energy Solutions (HES) program and the federal tax credit – that’s major savings!

And fortunately, the savings doesn’t end there. Once the improvements are in place, you’ll start to see savings every month on your utility bills.

For more information about the projects that qualify for the credit, and how to claim the credit on your return, visit the ENERGY STAR website.

Enoch Lenge is the CL&P and Yankee Gas energy efficiency spokesman. If you're a member of the media and would like to arrange an interview with Enoch, please contact Media Relations.