Mid-February is a prime time to think about money-savings as you prepare for tax season and enticing President’s Day sales. If you are taking a serious look at your home budget for the year, considering making a major appliance purchase, or preparing to file your taxes, here are some helpful tips and resources for some quick wins that could save you money over time.
Don’t Forget your Solar Energy Tax Credits
If you installed a solar energy system in 2017, you should talk to your tax professional to see if you are eligible for a federal tax credit for the cost of installing your system. According to Energy Star, the tax credit is worth 30% of the cost of your system, including installation cost, with no upper limit, as long as your system is providing electricity for your residence and meets applicable fire and electrical codes. Massachusetts residents may also be eligible for an income tax credit up to $1000. A tax professional can tell you exactly how much of a credit you may be eligible for.
If you are scheduled to have a system installed this year, you’re in luck! This energy credit is available until 2021 (though the credit does reduce to 26% in 2020 and then to 22% in 2021). There was a time when more energy-related tax credits were available for consumers. Unfortunately, they expired in 2016.
Strongly Consider an Energy Star Appliance
President’s Day is a big holiday for major appliance sales. If you are in the market for a new appliance, be sure to look for the Energy Star label. We’ve written about Energy Star before, but for those who are unfamiliar, Energy Star is a program started by the EPA in 1992 to help consumers and businesses make informed choices about energy efficiency and purposes. Purchasing an appliance with an Energy Star Label means that you are purchasing a machine that meets specific performance standards while also being energy-efficient. Every product with the Energy Star label is tested and proven to be more energy efficient than its peers, saving you money over its lifetime.
If you are a Massachusetts resident who is a customer of an eligible electrical company, you may be eligible for a $50 rebate for the purchase of an Energy Star certified electric clothes dryer thanks to Mass Save.
Be sure to shop around for the appliance of your choice, and consider rebates from Mass Save, Energy Star and even the manufacturer and store of purchase. The more you research, the more you are likely to save.
Take Advantage of Freebies and Incentives
There are a lot of resources available to homeowners who are seeking advice on how to save on their energy bills. If you have questions about insulation, sealing drafting windows, or even water conservation, seeking out professional advice is a smart plan. Revise Energy, a Mass Save partner, provides free in-home energy assessments to offer informed advice and other helpful incentives to Massachusetts homeowners. Plenty of the information they give is actionable right away, offering you quick and easy wins toward your energy-use goals. Just because it is mid-winter doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes that can be meaningful for your home.
There are very helpful incentives for the savvy energy consumer right now. Do your research, consult helpful advisors, then make decisions that are helpful for your family. Though they are more limited than they’ve been in the past, there are tax credits for residential energy needs that can be very helpful for the average family. Energy Star and programs like Revise Energy provide helpful energy advice and rebates that make a difference for your family’s bottom line. When it comes to energy savings, don’t go at it alone!
Thinking that this is the year you get serious about solar energy for your home? Interested in learning more about how rebates and tax credits could apply to a solar energy system of your own? Give us a call today. We’d be delighted to answer your questions!
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