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Consumer Energy Tax Incentives
What the Economic Stabilization Bill Means to You

The recently passed Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2013 (P.L. 110-343) included, extended and/or amended many consumer tax incentives originally introduced in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT). The bill also included tax incentives for businesses, utilities, and government. For a complete summary of the tax incentives included in the bill, read the summary of Energy Tax Incentives in The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

About Tax Credits
A tax credit is generally more valuable than an equivalent tax deduction because a tax credit reduces tax dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction only removes a percentage of the tax that is owed. Consumers can itemize purchases on their federal income tax form, which will lower the total amount of tax they owe the government.

Fuel-efficient vehicles and energy-efficient appliances and products provide many benefits such as better gas mileage – meaning lower gasoline costs, fewer emissions, lower energy bills, increased indoor comfort, and reduced air pollution.

In addition to federal tax incentives, some consumers will also be eligible for utility or state rebates, as well as state tax incentives for energy-efficient homes, vehicles and equipment. Each state’s energy office web site may have more information on specific state tax information.

Below is a summary of many of the tax credits available to consumers. Please see the ENERGY STAR®'s Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency for complete details.

 

Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Credits
Consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in the home can receive a tax credit of up to $500 for improvements "placed in service" starting January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013. The
ENERGY STAR® website has a complete summary of energy efficiency tax credits available to consumers.

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credits
Consumers who install solar electric systems can receive a 30% tax credit for systems placed in service from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2016; the previous tax credit cap of $2,000 no longer applies. In addition, consumers who install small wind systems can receive a tax credit up to $4,000. Geothermal heat pumps also qualify for tax credits up to $2,000.

ENERGY STAR qualified homes are at least 15 percent more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC).

Any home three stories or less can earn the ENERGY STAR label if it has been verified to meet EPA's guidelines for energy efficiency. This includes site-constructed homes, attached or detached homes, single or low-rise multi-family residential buildings, manufactured homes, systems-built (e.g., SIP or modular) and log homes, existing homes, or retrofitted homes.

ENERGY STAR qualified homes achieve energy savings through established, reliable building technologies. Builders work with Home Energy Raters to select from a number of features when planning and building homes.

1. Effective Insulation

Properly installed, climate-appropriate insulation in floors, walls, and attics ensures even temperatures throughout the house, less energy consumption, and increased comfort.
Properly Installed Insulation PDF (149KB).

2. High-Performance Windows

Energy-efficient windows employ advanced technologies, such as protective coatings and improved frame assemblies, to help keep heat in during winter and out during summer. These windows also block damaging ultraviolet sunlight that can discolor carpets and furnishings.
Qualified Windows PDF (212KB).

3. Tight Construction and Ducts

Sealing holes and cracks in the home’s “envelope” and in duct systems helps reduce drafts, moisture, dust, pollen, and noise. A tightly sealed home improves comfort and indoor air quality while reducing utility bills.
Efficient Duct Systems PDF (163KB).

U.S. Department of Energy Recommended* Total R-Values for New Houses in Six Climate Zones

How Much Insulation Does My Home Need?

For insulation recommendations tailored to your home, visit the DOE Zip Code Insulation Calculator.

 

 

climate zones

 

* These recommendations are cost-effective levels of insulation based on the best available information on local fuel and materials costs and weather conditions. Consequently, the levels may differ from current local building codes. In addition, the apparent fragmentation of the recommendations is an artifact of these data and should not be considered absolute minimum requirements.

 

department of energy recommended insulation levels by zone

 

  1. R-18, R-22, and R-28 exterior wall systems can be achieved by either cavity insulation or cavity insulation with insulating sheathing.
    For 2 in. x 4 in. walls, use either 3½ in. thick R-15 or 3½ in. thick R-13 fiber glass insulation with insulating sheathing.
    For 2 in. x 6 in. walls, use either 5½ in. thick R-21 or 6¼ in. thick R-19 fiber glass insulation.
  2. Insulate crawl space walls only if the crawl space is dry all year, the floor above is not insulated, and all ventilation to the crawl space is blocked.
    A vapor retarder (e.g., 4- or 6-mil polyethylene film) should be installed on the ground to reduce moisture migration into the crawl space.
  3. No slab edge insulation is recommended.


 

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Cambridge Doors & Windows can  perform all the energy efficient & secutiry saving improvements in your home or building including: repalcement windows & doors, hurricane windows & doors, custom entry doors, custom millwork, designer entry hardware, custom door staining & painting in Fort Bend County & Harris County.

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