15th Apr, 2009

Tax Breaks for Energy Efficient Remodeling

Citizens of Denver Colorado homes may choose to dive into home improvements this year because tax advantages are on the table.  Some older Denver CO real estate is long overdue for a remodel.  So, too, with the addition of today’s economic challenges, many Denver property owners are deciding to forego upsizing and to remodel their existing homes instead. 

On February 17, 2009, the U.S. Government also added another compelling reason to install energy efficient appliances and upgrades before the end of 2010.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also called the Stimulus Bill, offers homeowners potentially thousands of dollars of tax breaks for installing energy efficient appliances and systems in their principal-residence homes in Denver and the U.S. 

There are tax credits extended from previous legislation as well as new incentives.  Here are some of the main threads woven into the bill:

  • Tax credits for some improvements have increased from 10 percent to 30 percent since last year.
  • Windows are no longer limited to a $200 maximum and requirements for types of windows have tightened.
  • Tax credits are only issued if the improvements are “placed in service” between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010 with some exceptions.*
  • The maximum credit is $1,500 for two years based on 30 percent of the cost.  Total cost may be $5,000, up from $500, in addition to the exceptions listed below. 
  • *Exceptions to the maximum include geothermal pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, fuel cells, and windmills.  Additionally, homeowners have until 2016 to install these upgrades.
  • In order to qualify for tax credits, submit the Manufacturer Certification Statement and receipts.

The government’s EnergyStar website suggests several important steps for homeowners who are interested in “green” remodeling.  They offer several tools for evaluating homes and suggest professional comprehensive home assessments. 

Common signs of energy leakage include cold, drafty, or uncomfortable areas of the home, moisture on windows, high-energy bills, cold floors, ice dams, dry winter air, high humidity, and excessive dust.  Water leaks are apparent through peeling paint, mold, mildew, wood rot, damp basements, and structural damage.

Solutions range from increasing insulation and infiltration to installing a proper air-conditioning or heating system to removing leaks around windows and installing new roofs, biomass stoves, solar energy systems, and fuel cells.  Homeowners who conquer these structural elements in their homes will save money on bills while making their homes more appealing to potential buyers.

For more information about real estate in the greater metro area, including farms and horse properties, call Michael Paul of Realty Oasis at (303) 268-6052.

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