If you’re like me, you’ve already started a short list of home improvement projects to invest in with your 2015 tax return. Below is a list of five home improvement projects that you should prioritize because tax incentives are currently set to expire at the end of 2016. These projects will bring you short and long-term savings by increasing your energy efficiency as well as savings in the form of tax credits.
- A new ‘Cool Roof’: By selecting a light colored roof material (metal or asphalt), you’re decreasing the amount of heat that’s absorbed by your home. You can also claim a tax credit that’s10% of the material cost up to $500.
- Replacing doors, windows or skylights: ENERGY STAR qualified materials will bring you savings in heating, cooling and lighting as well as a 10% tax credit up to $500 ($300 for windows).
- Going Tankless: Heating water can account for 14-25% of your homes energy use. Investing in an energy efficient model will give you energy savings and a tax credit for up to $300 of the units cost.
- Alternative Energy: The most opportunistic investment is still with onsite renewables, such as geothermal, wind or solar with a tax credit up to 30% of the cost, with no upper limit. (Now through 2019)
- Insulation: By increasing the insulation in your walls or attic, you will decrease your home heating and cooling costs as well as receive a 10% tax credit for the cost of the product, up to $500.
For all of these upgrades, you should be able to verify their qualification with your contractor or sales person.
For more information on energy efficient tax credits and incentives visit: Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency or Energy Efficiency Tax Credits, Rebates and Financing: What Options Are Available for You?
– Beth Wallace is the manager of sustainability for the Detroit Zoological Society.