Are You Eligible for Green Tax Credits?

Mary Butler

Ecologically minded home renovators in Michigan have reason to rejoice in the New Year. Legislators there recently approved state income tax credits totaling up to $7,000 to encourage state residents to buy green homes and make green home improvements. 

"Encouraging our residents to 'go green' will not only help our working families keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets, but it will help protect our natural resources and create jobs across the state," said bill sponsor, state Rep. Kate Elbi. "Increasing energy efficiency is the surest way to keep energy affordable for consumers and move toward energy independence."

Lucky for you, Elbi isn't the only civic leader who believes in rewarding people for investing in earth friendly homes and home improvements. As you prepare for tax time, be sure to explore whether you're eligible for money saving green tax credits in your state.

Being Green: How to Cash in at Tax Time

  • Check the Database for State Incentives for Renewables and Energy to see what's offered in your area. Oregon residents, for example, are eligible for a personal residential energy tax credit for using energy efficient appliances and solar panels. Oregonians--as well as residents of Texas and many other states--are not taxed on any value such green improvements add to their homes.
  • In New York, residents can receive up to $5,000 in tax credits for using solar energy to power their homes.
  • Florida, Vermont, Minnesota, Washington, and New York will provide credit on your taxes for sales tax paid on the purchase of solar panels or exempt you entirely from having to pay sales tax.
  •  If you take out a loan to buy solar panels in California, you can deduct the loan's interest.
  • In Louisiana, a new law allows you to deduct 25 percent of the cost of a solar energy system installed in 2008.
  • Idahoans who add insulation to older homes can deduct 100 percent of the cost.
  • And all Americans are eligible for federal tax credits up to $2,000 for the installation of solar panels and solar water heaters.

Just think of all the green renovations you can do once you get your tax refund! 

Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy
Environmental Protection Agency

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

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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