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Business & Merchant


By Roger Dolanch, Broker/Owner

If you are planning to make home improvements this year, you should consider some energy-efficient options knowing they can save you money in the long run and make your home more saleable if you ever decide to sell.

Many “eco-friendly” improvements that may help you lower your energy bills have other financial advantages in the form of rebates, tax credits and incentives.

Whether you are considering installing a tankless water heater, solar panels or skylights, chances are that you can find a program that will put cash back into your pocket for improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Here is where to look for tax credits, rebates and other rewards for energy-efficient home improvements.

Qualifying Improvements:
Usually when people think of energy efficiency, insulation and appliances come to mind. However a large variety of improvements can help to reduce your home’s energy consumption and many qualify for tax credits, rebates and incentives from a variety of sources. The type of improvements that make your home more efficient and get you some cash back typically include: solar energy systems, tankless water heaters, solar-powered appliances, energy-efficient windows and doors, skylights, solar-powered blinds, wood or pellet stoves and home wind turbines.

Manufacturer rebates and incentives:
Manufacturers of energy-efficient products and appliances often offer their own rebates to their customers for making eco-friendly upgrades. If you are considering making energy-efficient upgrades such as installing new windows, a new HVAC system or tankless water heater, be sure to ask the retailer or installer about any available manufacturer rebates.

Federal Tax Credits:
If you’ll be making any energy-efficient home improvements, be sure to talk with your tax preparer about any credits or deductions that may available to you from the Federal Government. Many tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements expired at the end of 2016, but some are still available. The Federal Government offers a tax credit with no upper limit for up to 30 percent of the cost for home solar energy systems through December 31, 2019 according to EnergyStar.gov.

State Level Programs:
In addition to federal programs, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may offer its own incentives to encourage homeowners to make energy-efficient improvements. In addition to your tax preparer, a searchable database of incentive programs for Pennsylvania can be found at https://energy.gov/eere/femp/energy-incentive-programs-pennsylvania.

Utility Company Incentives:
Many utility companies also offer programs designed to help homeowners reduce energy consumption and save money. Typical programs may include LED or CFL bulbs to replace incandescent bulbs in a home, or even discounts for installing energy-efficient HVAC equipment and programmable thermostats. The best way to find out what programs your utility companies offer is to check out their websites or give them a call.

Energy-efficient home improvements pay off over the long term by reducing your home’s energy consumption and therefore your utility bills. With a little bit of planning and research you can find rebates, tax credits and incentives that will not only repay your eco-friendly investment but make your property more attractive to potential buyers when it’s time to sell!

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