Monday, March 22, 2010

Claim New State Energy Efficiency Rebates

The Mount Vernon part of the Fairfax County was one of the first parts of the County to be built out. The homes in our community are older than most others and not quite as energy efficient.

Back in January, I wrote about the value of Home Energy Audits and explained what I learned about my own home after having one done.

Energy Audits typically run about $300-$500, but the money you save by implementing the problems they identify save you thousands of dollars. My house is nearly brand new, but had what was equal to a 4x4 hole open to the outdoors 24-7. For about $250, I have solved most of the problem and now we are saving money and the squirrels in my yard are not as comfortable.

The average American home spends 20-30% of its heating bill heating and cooling the outdoors. If your car were leaking 20-30% of its gas out the back of the car would you get it fixed?

This year, the State & Federal Government will effectively pay up to $3,500 via rebates and tax credits for you to fix up your house, invest in your efficient appliances, save your family thousands of dollars, use less energy, and help protect our environment.

***New*** State Rebates
Last week, The Virginia Division of Energy announced that the Governor was releasing $6.5 million in new rebates for home energy efficiency programs including:
  • Up to $250 for a home energy audit
  • 20% towards new qualifying air conditioners
  • 20% towards new qualifying heat pumps or furnaces
  • 20% towards new qualifying hot water heaters
  • 20% towards qualifying geothermal heating systems
  • 20% towards qualifying insulation
  • 20% towards new qualifying storm windows, storm doors, programmable thermostats
  • 20% towards new qualifying refrigerators, dishwashers, etc.
Each household can claim up to $2,000 in state rebates. Click here to make sure you read all of the rules and regulations and you can reserve a rebate now. The last round of rebates were claimed within three weeks and the state only made a limited amount of money available.

Federal Tax Credits & Deductions
Congress has also extended tax credits for the purchase of Energy Star appliances that expire on December 10, 2010. You can take a federal tax credit for 30% of the cost of a qualifying appliances and improvements including certain windows, doors, insultation, spray foam, and weather stripping up to $1,500. Information is here.

There are also federal energy assistance weatherization grants for families whose incomes are below a certain level. Information regarding that program is here.

Additional Proposed Federal Rebates
The Obama Administration also announced legislation proposing rebates for the same improvements dubbed The Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program modeled on the recent Cash for Clunkers Program. This program provides the following:
  • $1,000-$1,500 rebates for improving insulation, windows, and roofing; or
  • $3,000 for comprehensive retrofitting.
Here is an interview describing the proposal.

Improve Your Home
With the existing current rebates and incentives, the State and Federal Government could pay for up to 50% of the cost of many improvements. Here is an example of what you could do:

Home Energy Audit


State Grant (20%)


New Refrigerator


State Grant (20%)


Federal Credit (30%)


Insulation & Weatherstripping


State Grant (20%)


Federal Credit (30%)


Water Heater


State Grant (20%)


Federal Credit (30%)


Total Out of Pocket Cost


Plus, with the money you save from reduced energy consumption, your family could save even more over time. If the additional retrofit grants are approved by Congress, even more money might become available.

Make sure you consult your accountant and read all of the materials thoroughly before making any purchasing decisions. I hope as many homes in Mount Vernon take advantage of these rebates and credits as possible.

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