One of the things I'm frequently asked about are energy rebates. It seems that many people are confused about what state and federal rebates are available to them when remodeling or building a home. It's no wonder. There are a range of rebates available for a variety of items, from solar to wind to energy-efficient appliances, and the start and end dates on these incentives wildly vary.
In my home state of Kentucky, for instance, there's everything from a personal tax credit the state offers for water heaters, lighting, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, central air conditioners, building insulation, and windows and doors, and it covers 30 percent of the installed cost with a maximum incentive of $500 for all improvements and caps on individual items.
That might not sound like a substantial amount of money, but pair it with, say, another rebate available from Kentucky Utilities Company, and the deal sweetens. The utility company is offering a rebate program on energy efficient items such as washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, water heaters, heat pumps, central air conditioners and windows, with rebates of $50 to $300, depending on the item.
Kentucky also allows an $800 tax credit for taxpayers who build a new Energy Star home for use as a principal residence, but you can't take that tax credit in addition to the previously mentioned personal tax credit.
Yes, it gets quite confusing. To make sense of it all, go to DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, and it has an up-to-date listing, by state, of all available tax credits, rebates and incentives for each state.
It makes saving energy and being green even smarter. And profitable.
Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.