Connecticut Better Business Bureau says ‘going green’ brings tax credits | CT Environmental Headlines

Jul 28th, 2009 | By | Category: Renewables

Connecticut Better Business Bureau says ‘going green’ brings tax credits | CT Environmental Headlines: The Connecticut Better Business Bureau is advising homeowners on how to take advantage of new federal tax credits, while making their dwellings more energy-efficient and helping protect the environment.

Homeowners making certain renovations can benefit from new tax credits under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2008-2009 Cost vs. Value report, energy-efficient replacement projects are some of the most valuable improvements for recouping money at resale.

According to Connecticut Better Business Bureau President Paulette Scarpetti, some of these include routine home maintenance.

“Homeowners can benefit from projects such as roof replacement, upgrading insulation and changes to heating and cooling systems,” Scarpetti said. “To qualify for tax advantages provided under the Act, it is important that before consumers have any work done, they confirm their home improvements qualify under the program. Just because a product has the government’s Energy Star Seal doesn’t mean it is covered by the program.”

The Energy Star seal is the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for energy efficient consumer products. A full list of eligible projects and products is posted at www.energystar.gov/taxcredits.

Improvements must be made to the owner’s primary residence. For the following home improvements, a household can benefit from a tax credit for 30 percent of the project’s cost, up to a total of $1500 for all improvements:

* Windows and doors including energy efficient skylights, storm windows, exterior windows, storm doors and exterior doors;
* Roofing and insulation, including metal or asphalt shingles;
* Heating and cooling systems, including energy efficient central air conditioning units, oil and gas furnaces; and
* Water heaters, including energy efficient gas, oil or propane water heaters and electric pump water heating systems.

“This government initiative provides an extra layer of savings for Connecticut residents since energy efficient appliances and improvements bring down monthly costs for homeowners,” Scarpetti said.

Connecticut Better Business Bureau offers the following advice for homeowners on finding a company or contractor they can trust to help make their house greener:

Before making any improvements, visit www.energystar.gov to confirm projects and related products being used are eligible for the tax credit. Also consider consulting a tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Web site, at www.irs.gov.

– Always check out prospective companies and contractors at www.bbb.org.
– Online Reliability Reports will tell consumers if a business is accredited by BBB and if it has a good record of customer satisfaction.
– While homeowners may use any contractor to take advantage of the tax credits, they should get several estimates for qualifying home improvement projects.

More information on home improvements can be found at target=_newwww.bbb.org.

Founded in 1928, Connecticut BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. For more advice on finding companies and businesses, start your search with trust at www.bbb.org.

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