4 Green Home Rebates That Save You Big in 2015


For the first time, I'm beginning to seriously consider buying a home and I'm deep into the research and learning phase. One of the aspects I'm most intrigued by these days is how to perform a "green" renovation on an existing home. I've been happy to learn that there are multiple green rebates and credits that you can use in 2015 toward specific green improvements.

1. Geothermal Heat Pumps

Not surprisingly, energy consumption is one of the key areas that benefit from tax credits. Geothermal heat pumps are renewable energy appliances that are not only good for the environment, but also an incredibly comfortable way to heat and cool your home. These heat pumps utilize the ground to generate hot water, heat, and air conditioning, unlike traditional heat pumps which utilize air. Geothermal heat pumps are more efficient — and therefore less expensive — to run than traditional heat pumps.

2. Small Wind Turbines

Windmills may conjure visions of Holland or Don Quixote. But they should also give you visions of green, as in green energy and green back in your pocket. Small wind turbines convert kinetic wind energy into electricity that connects to your home's electrical system, and homeowners enjoy significant tax credits for their implementation

3. Solar Energy Systems

Solar energy systems have undergone significant innovation over the years, making them more efficient and less expensive than when they first appeared on the residential energy scene. In terms of tax rebates, there are two types of solar energy systems that qualify: solar water heaters and solar panels that convert sunlight into electricity. (See also: Cut Your Electric Bill With Solar Panels)

4. Fuel Cells

Of all of the green home rebates, the fuel cell is the newest kid on the block. Fuel cells take advantage of the emerging hydrogen economy to power cars and other consumer goods that have traditionally been powered by fossil fuels. They offer a much cleaner alternative to fossil fuels.

While these are the formal green home rebates offered by the federal government, there are plenty of other ways to save money (and the environment) with improvements to your home. ENERGY STAR offers an online Home Energy Yardstick that will help you determine the energy efficiency of your home as it currently stands, and will make suggestions for ways to improve it.

These improvements include better insulation and sealing, ENERGY STAR appliances and proper use of light fixtures, and even changes as simple as installing drapes, storm windows, and programmable thermostats. While these improvements don't carry tax rebates, they will help lower your energy costs without compromising your comfort. Good for you, good for the planet.

How have you made your home more "green"?

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Guest's picture

I received my rebate at tax time a few months ago for a solar panel install in 2014. IT was definitely worth it! My power bills have been negative most months, meaning the power company owes me money! In California, all the state rebates are used up (in my area at least), but the prices have dropped so much that the payback period for my system is a little over 5 years. I estimate saving over $2,100 the first year and that will grow by 4-6% each year, depending on how much energy prices rise in my area.

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