With tax season upon us, many homeowners who recently completed energy efficiency updates to their homes or are planning to do so in the coming year may qualify for a little help from Uncle Sam.
Congress recently extended a tax credit for energy efficient retrofits through Dec. 31, 2013 and retroactively to Jan. 1, 2012. The credit allows homeowners to claim 10 percent of the cost of qualified energy-efficient building materials, such as insulation or a solar reflective roof, up to $500.
The dual advantage of long-term savings on energy bills and a smaller tax bill make now the perfect time for families to upgrade their homes. As North America’s leading brand of building products, CertainTeed Corporation offers the following solutions to help get the most out of the tax credit and maximize energy efficiency.
- Identify areas for improvement. Conducting a home energy audit is an important first step in identifying where updates are most needed and how to get the greatest return from a renovation budget. ResNet is a great resource that helps connect homeowners with auditors in their community. For more information, visit http://www.resnet.us.
- Maximize insulation to create cozier living spaces. If the tops of the ceiling joists are visible from the attic, then more insulation is needed to attain the current recommended R-value. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average homeowner can save as much as 30 percent on energy bills simply by having the right amount of insulation throughout the home.
- Leverage online tools with energy efficiency projects. Once such tool for homeowners —http://www.certainteed.com/itools—recommends R-values for different areas of the home, provides an estimate of potential savings, and identifies incentives for completing insulation projects from this federal tax credit down to local utility programs. Simply enter your ZIP code to make sure you don’t miss a single opportunity for savings.
- Get a cool roof. Installing roofing products that reflect the sun can significantly lower a home’s cooling costs during the summer and reduce its impact on the environment. Landmark Solaris™ Platinum roofing shingles boast an industry-leading 40 percent solar reflectivity and are offered in an eye-catching color palette with lifetime, limited warranty protection—helping homeowners lower energy bills and boost curb appeal.
- Shore up the foundation. The concrete slab of a home can leak heated air, contributing to higher heating bills for many homeowners. The EnergyEdge® system provides increased comfort and a new way to reduce energy bills. The system forms, insulates and protects the exterior of the concrete slab foundation. When the system is installed on the exposed slab edge of the home, homeowners can save up to 10 percent or more in heating costs.
- Upgrade windows. Windows can account for 10 to 25 percent of a monthly heating bill. Most Americans have single pane windows that are prone to significant air leaks. By adding ENERGY STAR® rated double pane windows, homeowners can save money all year round.
Read more about rebates and tax credits.