Archive for the ‘Rebates and Incentives’ Category

Energy Tax Credits for 2013: Available again!

January 9, 2013

greenhomes evergy infographic

One good result from the end of the year fiscal cliff hanger is an extension of the residential energy tax credit.

If you haven’t used it in the past, all the way back to 2006, there is a $500 tax credit for material costs of certain energy efficiency measures done to your home.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act extended the tax credit through 2013, making it retroactive from January 1, 2012. This means last year counts as well.

10% of the cost of materials, such as insulation, exterior windows, and doors that meet Energy Star requirements, can be used. Credits for window expenses are limited, as are AC units and furnaces, so a combination of improvements will help maximize what you can get, just perfect for home performance work on your home.

Check out http://www.irs.gov/ for more information. Or see the entire American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 here. Ask us we can help!

Thanks,
Jason

Boy has it been a busy year for GreenHomes America!

October 1, 2012

Young’s Air Conditioning of Los Banos, California came on board before the start of the New Year.  Young’s is a family business with strong roots in Los Banos and a reputation as the area’s leading provider of energy efficient heating and cooling services.

In the early part of the winter, we added three locations with Carolina Green Energy Systems.  CGES is one of South Carolina’s oldest and largest comprehensive Home Performance Contractors, and we are proud to include them in the GreenHomes Network.

Also new in town is Air Rescue Air Conditioning of Tampa, Florida. This is our first partner from the Sunshine state.   Air Rescue started in 1965, and is one of the oldest and largest residential HVAC contractors in the Tampa Bay Metro area.   Air Rescue will service customers in over seven counties.

This is only the beginning as GreenHomes grows to better serve you nationally!  Stay tuned for more!

Thanks,

Jason.

Energy Efficient Tax Credits For 2011 and 2012

March 20, 2012

It’s that time of year again, and although we have written about Energy Efficiency tax credits for 2011 before, if you had work done this past year, it might be time to review.  You can also go to our learning center for solutions to common problems we fix in homes just like yours, as well as links to our franchise locations; they can provide details about incentives available in their area.

Many of the federal tax credits ended in 2011, but not all of them.  What will continue for 2012, are credits for some renewable energy systems.  Solar water heating and photovoltaic systems, small wind systems, and geothermal heat pumps, are all eligible measures through 2016.  If you are thinking of alternatives, consider our interactive online home to get a better sense of whether or not these types of improvements are really what you need this year.

Alternative energy systems can be expensive, and it often makes the most sense to install them in homes that are very efficient from the start.  You might be surprised by what some simple measures can save you money.  Tax credit or not, insulation, air sealing and efficient heating and hot water systems can pay for themselves in short order.  Simple measures that cost less and save you more!

Thanks,

Jason

What’s all the hubbub about the “green button”?

January 20, 2012

White House PGE announce the Green ButtonThe White House announced that PG&E, and San Diego Gas & Electric have launched the “green button”, an online tool that allows customers to download their own energy data.

[Watch California utilities PG&E, and San Diego Gas & Electric in the video of the Green Button launch.]

That is certainly good news.  We’ve long used a good look an utility bill history and energy usage to help figure out what going on in a home.  Something that makes it easier for a homeowner to track down that history is a good thing.  And we look forward to a host of third-party aps that can help consumers save energy and money.

But from the hoopla, you’d think our energy woes are over.

Not so fast.  Access to household energy use data is really important.  And Facebook aps might be fun.  But when it’s 105 degrees out and you have a poorly insulated house, with south- and west-facing glass, and an old air-conditioner, are you going to be able to stay comfortable without paying a lot of money to the utilities?  No.  Good information helps, but it doesn’t change physics.  To make your home more comfortable and not break the bank with utility bills, you’ve got to make actual improvements!

And the fundamentals still apply.  You need good insulation and air-sealing, tight duct work, efficient heating and cooling equipment, efficient lighting.  And you also need to know if your water heater, furnace, or any other combustion appliance in your home is operating safely and efficiently.  The green button won’t don’t that for you.

Energy Upgrade CaliforniaFortunately, for California residents, the statewide Energy Upgrade California (EUC) program can provide up to $4,000 in rebates to help make smart improvements (some cities and counties are offering even more in matching rebates).  And certified contractors can give you access to these incentives. GreenHomes America partners have BPI-certified staff, and can provide access to the EUC incentives.

The best way to find out what you might qualify for is to have a real home energy audit conducted by a participating contractor—and then get the rebate by having the contractor make the improvements.  You can contact participating experts in the following areas to learn more:

So bring the green button on.  Check it out.  Easier access to utility information is great (after all, we’re paying the bills, aren’t we—shouldn’t we be able to get the information?)  Kudos to PG&E and SDGE for stepping up to lead the nation with this.  The rest of the country?  Well, a handful of additional uttilies have said they’re interested, so stay tuned.  And if GreenHomes has a location near you, we’ll help you find applicable rebates, incentives, and loans.

But if you want a more comfortable, healthier, and more energy-efficiency home, data alone won’t do it.  A good home assessment followed by the right, professionally installed, measures, will.

Cheers,
Mike

Home energy audit….Ponzi scheme?

December 13, 2011

“Conservation is just another word for a Ponzi scheme in many respects. What I mean by that, is it is not that conservation is bad, conservation is very, very good if you do it properly.”  This is a quote from Maine Governor Paul LePage from the Bangor daily News last week.  

The Governor, in the article, is critical of the home energy audits process required by Efficiency Maine since, as he suggests, “If they are recommending $15,000 in improvements and a person can’t make that much of an investment, it is all a waste,” he said. “That’s where the policy is not working and we are going to work on that.”

I think it is throwing out the baby with the bath water to say that a homeowner can’t afford to fix everything in a home all at once then the audit was a waste.   In Maine as everywhere else, a good audit maps out short and long term solutions to save homeowners money, increase their comfort at home, and reduce our dependence on heating oil with increased efficiency.  The audit should be your roadmap to a safer, more comfortable, and more energy-efficient home.   

Of course, the right audit needs to be accurate and actionable.  The audit needs to look at the whole house to determine the specific energy upgrades that make the most sense for your particular house.  And it needs to be specific enough so that you can get the work done, but it is the work that improves your house, not the assessment.  We can agree with the governor on that point.

Certified, established contractors, performing energy audits and even more important, performing the work needed to fix the problems, are what we need in every state.  We ask doctors to be certified, drivers to be licensed; it is for the public good and our safety.   Homes are often the most significant investment people have, and issues left unchecked affect the occupant’s health and safety, heating systems and indoor air quality issues, all part of an energy audit…and we haven’t talked about air sealing and insulation yet!  

Shortcuts don’t work well, and can create their own problems.  Wrapping the “state in pink” suggesting insulation for everyone is in the right spirit, but the wrong approach in most homes, unless we find and seal air-leaks first, for example.   Air sealing without insulation is not only a waste of insulation, all that good “pink” will only act as a filter as all the heating dollars pass through it.  The slogan for fixing homes should not be get r’ done, but do it right the first time.  The right audit points the way.

Homes are complex and often times so are the solutions.  Ponzi scheme?  I think not.  Investing in energy efficiency is no simple task and any good investor begins with informing themselves of the risks and benefits or else looses their shirt rather quickly.  The right audit makes sense.

Thanks,

Jason.

Time Running Out for Home Energy Efficiency Tax Credit

October 13, 2011

We’ve provided the details on the federal home energy-efficiency tax credit a few times this year—for efficient furnaces, air-conditioners, windows, insulation, and the like. You’ve have access to the federal tax credit for existing homes for almost six years, in some form or another, including a bump up in the credit amount for two years as part of ARRA and then ratcheting back down this year.

But the time is running out. These federal credits disappear at the end of the year. To be eligible, qualified products must be “placed in service” (installed) by December 31, 2011. If you know you’re going to be doing something that qualifies, now is the time. I’m not betting that Congress will pull together and agree on much of anything, let alone pass something like an extension of this tax credit. So right now, it looks like before the end of the year, or kiss it goodbye.

Of course, if the time isn’t right for you, we always help our customers find any other incentives out there. Call us when you’re ready.

Thanks, Mike

New York State Hurricane Relief Appliance Rebate Program

September 24, 2011

New York residents eligible for cash rebates to replace essential appliances damaged by Hurricanes Irene or Lee –

Parts of upstate New York were devasted by Hurricanes Irene and Lee which significant damage to many residents’ homes and properties – including their necessary appliances and equipment. Effective this week (Monday, September 19, 2011), Governor Andrew Cuomo launched an $8 million appliance rebate program to help those who sustained damages to their appliances and household equipment. This program is one of the many in place to help those affected by the storms recover as quickly as possible.

“Thanks to this program, homeowners in NY can make some good of a bad situation,” said Anthony Johnson, owner of A. Johnson Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, a Saratoga Springs-based company and GreenHomes America partner specializing in home energy assessments and upgrades. “These generous rebates not only save you money now, but with more energy-efficient appliances you’ll continue to save for the life of the appliance.”

New York Hurricane Appliance Rebate - Furnace, Boiler, Water Heater, RefrigeratorCandidates qualify by being a New York state resident and purchasing eligible ENERGY STAR® or high efficiency appliances to replace those damaged by the natural disasters.  Eligible products include refrigerators, clothes washers and dryers, dehumidifiers, furnaces, broilers and some water heaters. Rebates are substantial and range from $100 for a dehumidifier to $2,500 for a boiler. Purchases must be made on or after August 29, 2011 for those impacted by Irene and September 9, 2011 for those impacted by Lee. The U.S. Department of Energy’s State Energy Program (SEP) provided the funds to be used for the program and rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until they are exhausted.

“Many new appliances, like those with an ENERGY STAR® rating, are around 30 percent more efficient than older models,” adds Johnson. “If you replace three or four appliances with these more efficient models, that’s like eliminating an entire appliance from your energy bill.”

Those who wish to apply for the rebate can do so in one of two ways, either by filling out an application form on the rebate program website or calling the program hotline to fill out necessary information over the phone. One rebate per appliance is allowed and purchases must be made before applying.

For more information on this rebate program, please visit http://www.nysappliancerebates.com/ or call the program hotline at 1-877-NY-SMART.  Contact us in Central New York or the Saratoga-Capital District area to see how this might be leveraged as part of a broader home improvement to increase comfort and save energy.  (Doubly important for those who has with oil as oil prices remain very high.)

New Jersey Residents, Act Fast! Clean Energy Program Bumps Incentives Up to $5,000!

July 8, 2011

The New Jersey Clean Energy Program’s Home Performance with ENERGY STAR initiative already has among the most generous incentives in the country, and for the summer, there running a promo offering even bigger incentives.   During the summer promo, New Jersey homeowners can  receive up to$5,000 in financial incentives and may qualify for 0% interest financing (up to $10,000) when they have energy-efficient upgrades performed on their home.  That is up to $1,000 more than the regular offer!

You must use a participating BPI Accredited Contractor to qualify.  Contact Princeton Air (866-766-8611) to schedule your home assessment.   The promotion runs through the summer, but the future of the whole program is uncertain.  Best to act quickly to avoid missing the incentives, the financing, and to more your home more comfortable and start reducing your utility bills today.

Yes, Virginia, there are energy improvement rebates.

March 23, 2011

Energy Efficient Solutions, A GreenHomes America PartnerWe mentioned partner Energy Efficient Solutions while talking about their great crawlspace work the other day.  Well, they can help you tap into some of the great rebates available on cooling and heating equipment still available in Virginia, right now.  But likely only if you act fast.  There are still Recovery Act rebates in place for heat pumps, furnaces, and water heaters.  And there is a home retrofit program on the streets in the Hampton Roads area.  In many cases, these are in addition to already existing utility rebates–up to $5,000!  But as we’ve seen on most other states, these funds will probably be used up quickly, within weeks or months.   It’s first-come, first-served, and when the money’s gone, it’s gone.  Don’t miss out.  [Call Energy Efficient today to get your place in line!]  Whether rebates or tax credits or both, depending on your project, now is the time.

Yes, Virginia, there is still a federal home energy tax credit

February 19, 2011

I mentioned this several weeks ago, but we’re still getting A LOT of questions on the 2011 energy-efficiency tax credit for things like furnaces, air-conditioners, insulation, and windows.  The credit is there, but there are many changes from the 2009-2010 credit.  See our tax credit summary for information about what qualifies.

[P.S. Don’t forget to claim your credit if you made eligible upgrades in 2010.  We’ve kept information on last year’s credit posted for your reference.]

Thanks,
Mike


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