Sunday, January 01, 2006

Resolving to Save Energy

Uncle Sam is making it a little easier to cut energy costs in 2006 by offering federal tax credits for the addition of energy efficiency measures to your home or vehicle. The incentives, which took effect January 1, include:
  • A credit for the lease or purchase of a hybrid vehicle from between $250 -
    $3,400 [here's the formula]. Act fast though, the tax credit will begin to be phased out for individual manufacturers (e.g., Toyota, Honda, Ford) once 60,000 of their hybrid vehicles have been sold.

  • Home energy efficiency tax credits, with an overall cap of $500. Ten percent of the cost, up to $200, for energy efficient windows or skylights. Ten percent of the cost, up to $500, for new insulation, interior doors, or a pigmented metal roof. Up to $300 of the total cost for a new central air or heat pump system or water heater. Up to $150 for an energy efficient furnace or boiler.

Most of these incentive require that appliances meet Energy Star or equivalent standards, though, even without the incentives it's almost always wiser to go with the energy star label when it is available. Over the life of the product, you'll generally recoup any additional purchase cost (and more) in energy savings. These incentives are set to expire at the end of 2007.



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