How the Economic Stimulus Bill Benefits Green Remodelers

Mary Butler

There's a good reason the green movement has focused so heavily on updating single family homes: they're energy hogs. From the energy you use to heat and cool your home to the everyday energy you use to operate your TV, refrigerator and hair dryer, it all adds--significantly--to the planet's carbon emissions bottom line. About 21 percent of the nation's carbon footprint comes from homes, according the National Association of Home Builders.

For this reason, it's important to use energy efficient doors and windows, appliances, and roofing, among other building materials, to make your home as "green" as possible. You may ask: What do I do if I don't have the money for these upgrades? Well, thanks to the $787 billion economic stimulus bill recently signed into law by President Obama, you may be eligible for dollars to help green your home.

Green Living and the Stimulus Package
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes billions of dollars to aid in making older homes more energy efficient and building new eco-conscious homes. You may have already researched tax credits for windows, insulation, and roofs, among other items. If the tax credit didn't seem worth it before, maybe it will now. The credits have been increased to 30 percent of the cost of each improvement, with a limit of $1,500, through this year and next.

While many people have complained that the stimulus bill contains too much pork, this portion doesn't fall into that category by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, it works double duty. American homeowners and renters, too--can benefit greatly from increased energy efficiency at home. Such upgrades can improve home values and lower monthly bills, bringing immediate pocketbook relief.

And then there's the boost such improvements bring to the ailing construction industry. Builders and other building contractors are hurting in the down economy. Giving homeowners a good enough incentive to spend money on their homes helps everybody in the long run. For green remodelers, it's certainly something to celebrate.

About the Author
Colorado-based freelance writer Mary Butler specializes in home and garden stories.

About the Author
Mary Butler is a Boulder, Colorado based writer and editor, who spends much of her free time remodeling an old house.

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