One way the government hopes its 2009 economic stimulus plan will help jumpstart the economy is by investing billions of dollars in industries that support energy efficiency – everything from electric car battery technology to wind turbines to modernizingCorporations aren’t the only ones receiving incentives, however:

Individual taxpayers can reap considerable tax benefits by improving

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their home’s energy efficiency – not to mention the long-term savings

they’ll incur from reducing their utility and fuel bills.

Here are a few highlights:

l The total tax credit you can claim for many energy-efficiency home

improvements made during 2009 and 2010 has increased from $500 to

$1,500. That’s a cumulative total of $1,500, so you can break it up

between the two years however you choose.

l You may now claim a tax credit for 30 percent of the purchase

price for a variety of home improvements, up to the $1,500 limit.

Credit for installation costs is also allowed in certain cases, such as

for HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, biomass

stoves, water heaters, solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, wind energy

systems and fuel cells.

Tax credits for many energy-efficiency home improvements that were

previously allowed in 2006 and 2007 but then disallowed in 2008 are

once again eligible during 2009 and 2010. Some common covered expenses

include:

l Home shell improvements designed to prevent heating and cooling

leaks, including insulation, metal and asphalt roofs, exterior and

storm windows, doors (including patio and sliding glass), skylights and

weather stripping.

l HVAC systems, including central air conditioning, air-source and

geothermal heat pumps, and natural gas, propane and oil furnaces.

l Gas, oil, propane, solar and electric heat pump water heaters.

l Biomass (plant matter) stoves.

l Other renewable energy technology including small wind generators and photovoltaic systems.

l Hybrid, diesel, battery electric, alternative fuel, fuel cell and plug-in electric cars.

Note that there are specific requirements and restrictions for each

of these products, so be sure to do your research before purchasing

them. For example, with vehicles, there are only a finite number of

credits available per manufacturer, so verify with the dealer.

A good resource for rules is the government’s Energy Star Web site,

which has detailed information on the various tax credits available www.energystar.gov/taxcredits.

A few additional tips:

l Experts agree that before making major investments like HVAC

systems or solar panels, you should first improve your home’s

insulation. Proper insulation can reduce your heating and cooling bills

by 20 percent or more.

– Save all receipts and ask contractors to separate labor and

materials costs in case you are ever audited. Also keep copies of

manufacturer certification statements for your records.

l Even though they aren’t covered under the federal tax credit

program, many other Energy Star appliances like refrigerators, washing

machines and dishwashers may qualify for certain state and local rebate

programs. These energy-efficient appliances consume up to 50 percent

less electricity and water than standard models. Ask for details where

you buy the appliance.

Feel good about the impact you can have on the environment – and on

your wallet – by taking advantage of these energy-efficiency tax

credits.

Announcement from our Chairman, David C BarclayThe World Renewable Energy Association are delighted to announce the launch of a brand-new initiative exclusively for its members. The Renewable Energy Finance Hub has been launched following the largest survey undertaken with UK businesses conducted by WoREA in conjunction with the UK Government and its partners. Reduce your businesses carbon footprint today and begin your journey towards net zero!