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TAX INCENTIVES FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT HOMES CARRY INTO 2011
RESNET, the Residential Energy Services Network, and its allies called upon legislators to ensure that consumers, homebuyers and builders remain incentivized in 2011 and Congress answered that call. While many people mistakenly believe the $2,000 federal tax credit for new, energy-efficient homes ended in 2010, the good news is that Congress extended this tax credit through the end of 2011 (January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2011). Included in this tax package recently signed into law are extended tax credits for:
"This is a major win for hard-working Americans who build or buy energy-efficient homes, products and appliances," said Steve Baden, executive director of RESNET. "In today's politically charged era, our push to garner bipartisan support for improved home energy performance is a notable victory. Congressional extension of these benefits offers across-the-board stimulus, from lowering consumer utility bills to reducing dependence on foreign oil and improving the environment."
Consumer purchase of energy-saving products.While restrictions exist t hat lower the credit to pre-economic recovery act levels, extended tax credits cover window incentives (up to $200), oil and gas furnace and boiler incentives to 95 percent efficiency (from $150-$200) and water heater and wood heating system incentives (up to $300).
Manufacturer installation of energy-efficient appliances. A manufacturers' credit exists for highly efficient appliances designed to save energy in new or existing homes (i.e., those with greater efficiency than today's average appliances).
To be eligible for the tax credit, a new home must be 50 percent more energy efficient than code. In 2009, 37,506 homes were verified for the tax credit. According to the Census Bureau, this represents more than 10 percent of all new homes that were sold in the U.S.
While homeowners who received these incentives in 2010 are ineligible for a repeat tax credit, those "on the fence" about improving their home's energy performance may be spurred into action. Consumer rebates carry the potential to stimulate both environmental and economic gains. According to David Goldstein, Ph.D., energy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), "Homes account for more than 20 percent of the global warming pollution in the United States. Responsible energy actioncan achieve significant pollution reductions and tens of thousands of dollars in cost savings for each home."