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Tax Credits You Can Earn for Green Building
November 13, 2015
Green building is rewarding in many ways – tax credits being one of them.
Green building is for everyone - not just the eco-conscious homeowners. This is still a relatively new idea to most people. The majority of us think of concept homes built to prove that green building and a zero carbon footprint are possibilities, but few of us imagine living in a green home. Often green building seems too expensive up front or too inconvenient. Both of those things are changing. In fact, adding green or energy efficient upgrades to your home or business may qualify you for tax credits from the federal government. That’s right, you can both lower heating and cooling costs and receive money from the government for investing in green building.
Green building isn’t as expensive as you may think it is. With many companies realizing the need and desire for more energy efficient homes and eco-friendly products, these products are no longer considered niche. Affordable solar panels, advanced heating and cooling systems, and highly insulated building materials are hitting the market faster than we can eat them up. While before, energy efficient windows meant very few choices, now almost every new window you purchase will be double or triple paned and framed in vinyl for maximum insulation.
Of course, green building means that you’ll save on energy costs in the long run. In some cases, you might even be able to make money, should your state allow you to sell energy from your solar panels back to the utility company. Highly insulated walls built with products like insulated concrete wall forms, programmable thermostats, and tankless water heaters allow you to reduce the amount of energy you use to heat and cool your home and water.
Some green building strategies can even cost you next to nothing. Some green building include stone or rock walls which passively store heat during the day which is released back into the home in the evening when temperatures drop. Rock walls can be placed outside of windows, in walls, and even underneath the floor of your home. Passive heat storage techniques like this cost very little up front and absolutely nothing to operate!
Adding curtains to your windows can also help to make your green building more energy efficient. Certain fabrics and curtain closure types insulate more readily than others. Adding curtains is both a great way to make an energy efficient home or office feel homey and to reduce heat loss through windows in the winter and heat absorption by windows in the summer.
For more expensive upgrades, the government is willing to fork over up to $1,500 for modifications made to already existing structures to make them more energy efficient. New insulation, windows, and even heating and air conditioning systems can qualify you for this tax credit that will help cover the cost of some of your renovations.
While not everyone can yet live in a net-zero home (where energy produced equals energy used), many of us can now afford to upgrade our existing homes or create new green buildings which are both cost and energy efficient. Incentives from the government and power companies both help to make green building a reality for many people.