If you’re like most people, your home is one of the largest investments you’ll ever make in your life. And after all is said and done with the mortgage approval process and purchase negotiations, you could probably use some additional savings. Well, here’s the good news: If you live in California, then there are several incentives for energy-efficient homes that you can take advantage of.
Get Income Tax Credits for Renewable Energy Systems
Did you know you can actually get income tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements? That’s right: According to EnergyStar.gov, homeowners who install a renewable energy system such as a geothermal heat pump, residential wind turbine, solar energy system or fuel cell system may qualify for a tax credit of as much as 30 percent of the total costs.
For example, if you install a geothermal heat pump system for $21,000, you might qualify for a tax credit of $6,300. That means that your actual costs are $14,700.
Note that the actual percentage of the tax credit will decline between 2018 and December 31, 2021, so you’re best advised to consult with your tax preparer or financial advisor before making your final decision regarding installing a renewable energy system.
Rebates for Energy-Efficient Appliances
It’s not just the federal government that will reward you for saving energy. As Energy Upgrade California® advises, many California energy providers offer rebates for energy-efficient appliances such as water heaters, washing machines and smart thermostats. You can contact your energy provider for more information about which products qualify.
Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program
If you own a single-family, detached home that was built before 2002, you might prefer to give your entire home an energy-efficiency makeover. You can do this with the Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade Program. This enables you to simultaneously decrease your energy use, maximize your home’s energy efficiency and enhance your home’s comfort — all while taking advantage of rebates of up to $5,500.
The program offers two options. First, there’s the Home Upgrade option, which aims to make your building shell at least 10 percent more energy-efficient. The second option is the Advanced Home Upgrade, which also includes other upgrades and aims to reduce your energy consumption by as much as 45 percent.
If you choose to participate, you’ll work with a qualified participating contractor who will assess your home’s needs and advise you on the energy efficiency improvements you need. You’ll need to select three upgrades, which can include anything from duct replacement to energy-efficient windows to an upgraded water heater. For each improvement, you’re awarded a certain amount of points. Your point total will ultimately determine the amount your rebate will be.
Good for the Environment — Good for Your Wallet
While some of these upgrades might require a significant investment up front, they’ll save you money in the long run thanks to tax credits, rebates and lower energy expenditure. Moreover, they can also help increase the value of your home. In fact, according to Energy.gov, upgraded homes fetch selling prices that are an average of nine percent higher than less energy-efficient homes. So, all things considered, going green isn’t just good for the environment — it’s also good for your wallet.