Some good news for USA-based GLT readers who were thinking about installing solar panels or a wind turbine; and some not-so-good news in relation to other US home energy efficiency incentive programs.
On December 17, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, which extends generous tax breaks for (among other things) purchases related to renewable energy. It’s been a bit of an 11th hour thing as the program was due to finish up at the end of this year.
My understanding is that the tax breaks aren’t just for large projects, but for home solar power and wind turbines as well. Anyhow, if you’re considering installing solar or wind power, have a chat to your bean-counter about it. Bear in mind, there may be additional state-based rebates and incentives available too.
Unfortunately, it looks like the incentives for home retrofits in relation to other energy efficiency related items in the USA will be reduced from a maximum of $1500 to $500. Still, it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick I guess. Items include more energy efficient windows, furnaces, air-conditioning, water heaters and wood stoves.
Appliance credit incentives have been extended for another year according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and while the incentives go to manufacturers, this should flow on mean cheaper highly efficient appliances.
The world of rebates and incentives when it comes to renewable energy and energy efficiency can be quite confusing. Here in Australia, the programs change quite regularly and often with little or no warning.
For a list of resources on current incentives in the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK, check out my article on renewable energy rebates.