Green Home Improvements for St. Patrick’s Day
No matter what’s on your “honey-do” list this spring, these green home improvements should be at the top of your list:
Your energy company wants you to have a Nest Learning Thermostat and start saving energy.
- Homeowners can save $130-$180 per year in energy costs by installing smart thermostats
- They’ve been proven to save 10-12% on heating and 15% on cooling.
Some energy companies send you a $249 Nest Thermostat at no cost when you sign up for certain plans. Others give you an instant $100 rebate – no paperwork necessary.
Even more energy companies offer traditional mail‑in rebates. One way or another, most energy providers will help you get a Nest Learning Thermostat.
Energy-Efficient Windows, Doors & Skylights:
Homeowners may be eligible for a tax credit of 10 percent by simply replacing windows, doors and skylights with energy efficient models. ENERGY STAR windows are proven to reduce energy bills by approximately seven to 24 percent, compared to non-qualified windows. Tax Credit: 10 percent of cost (up to $500).
As a win-win, LED (light-emitting diode) lighting is the way to go with your spring time home improvements. According to Redfin, the savings in green energy lighting is found in the payback period. For instance, a generic LED light may cost about $10 vs. $0.50 for incandescent bulbs, but it uses 80 percent less energy, and last 25 times long, for a payback period of six months (with annual energy costs of $0.44 vs. $19.70). LED light bulbs are also mercury-free and stay cool to the touch.
Unlike your typical home shutter, the solar version uses photovoltaic panels to feed energy into a small inverter that plugs directly into an outlet, helping to return power back to your electrical system. The solar shutters can produce roughly 500 watts per hour. In addition, solar shutters been tested and proven to reduce heat transfer, including blocking out heat gain/loss better than any other shutter.
The embodiment of going green is adding solar to your home, and for good reason. While the price tag may scare off many homeowners, installing a solar panel can achieve significant tax deductions and overall return on investment, including adding on average $26,000 to the resale value of an average home. Tax Credit: 30 percent of costs with no upper limit.
According to energysage.com, in 2018, most homeowners are paying between $2.71 and $3.57 per watt to install solar, and the average gross cost of solar panels before tax credits is $18,840.
The requirements for Federal tax credits on solar energy systems are simple: photovoltaic systems must provide electricity for residence, and must meet applicable fire and electrical requisites. Tax credits for solar energy systems are available at 30 percent through December 31, 2019, according to EnergyStar.Gov, and credits will then decrease to 26 percent for tax year 2020, and 22 percent for tax year 2021.
HVAC Systems & Upgrade:
The average homeowner spends roughly $2,200 a year on utility bills. Believe it or not, half of that cost is associated with the home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Consider a high efficiency heating and cooling system and look for the energy star label when purchasing new equipment. Go to energystar.gov for more information.
New can cost anywhere from $1900 to $5100 according to homeadvisor.com
Solar Water Heater:
This is considered a “capital improvement” and qualifies homeowners for a deduction as high as 10 percent of the costs, including installation costs, according to the Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit. Solar-heated water tanks operate just like standard water heaters, however, they have electric, natural gas or propane backup systems, if needed. Tax Credit: 30 percent of cost, including installation, with no upper limit.
House Logic says a solar water heater is around $8,000 to $10,000 including installation, but like anything the price tag can go up depending on the size, quality, and complexity of the system.