There has been lots of talk about the energy tax credits available for improving the energy efficiency of our homes. Now Congress has another program that they have been debating named the HOMESTAR program.
This proposed program as it is written currently has tax credit ranging from $3000 to $8000 depending on how much you spend on your energy efficient projects. It also is based on the total scope of your overall projects.
The current tax credit in place today allows homeowners to deduct 30% (up to $1500) off the materials of an approved Energy Star home improvement upgrade. This program is scheduled to expire at the end of 2010.
So as homeowners, should we wait to see if the HOMESTAR program passes, take advantage of the current tax credit program, or just do nothing? If we as homeowners choose to do nothing, we are already paying for bad windows, insulation etc. We just accept the fact that our energy bills are what they are, and seem to increase every year. We just pay the bill, no matter how painful it is.
But if we improve our homes with energy efficient windows or reflective insulation for example, we not only invest in our homes, but we also save money on our heating and cooling bills. On top of this, we make our homes more comfortable to be in during the year. Going this route, not only do we get the benefit of lower energy bills and comfort, but we also add to the value of our homes. Google the Cost vs. Value report to see what I mean.
My viewpoint is obvious, I believe it is better to do something than keep the status quo. I compare it to making a difficult decision, the worst thing you can do is nothing. This being said, what should we do as homeowners when it comes to taking advantage of these tax credit programs?
Right now, the decision is easy. There is only one program in place and this is the energy tax credit of up to $1500. There is no guarantee the HOMESTAR program will pass, so it is better to take advantage of the program already in place before it expires.
With the HOMESTAR program, even if it does pass, it is my OPINION, that we will be able to somehow take advantage of both programs. But no one will really know for sure until the bill actually passes, if in fact, it does.
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