Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Energy credits

There are some tasty tax credits out there if you eco-pimp your home this year. You can get 30% back up to $1500 with a maximum of $1500 for all credits. $1500 is 30% of $5k which is not chump change, but I would get $1.5k back next spring. I would like to get an energy audit done to see how efficient the house is. Then I might spend the $5k on more insulation and new windows. My cousin sells solar panel installations in Phoenix and he said that they recommend you fully insulate your house first. I want to get a solar attic fan as well. The question that wasn't clear to me is the 30% off just materials or does that include labor? If it's just materials than the tax credit will essentially pay for your labor. Hmmm... a solar attic fan is about $600 so figure $1k including labor since the dude has to climb my steep roof. That leaves $4k...maybe another $2k for insulation and then the remaining $2k for windows. There are four skylights in the main room of my potential pimp palace. Hot air rises so those could be a big source of heat loss. My parents redid two skylights and I think it was something like $500 each. I wonder if $2k is enough to lay down more insulation. I'll have to see what the energy audit says. The good thing is that I can add this cost directly to the value of the house and it will save me money in the meantime. I think return on investment for insulation is less than two years, but who knows? It's the right thing to do so I'll do it.

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