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With tax credit, clean tech is the gift that keeps giving

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As consumers rush to meet the Dec. 31 deadline for the  tax credit on energy efficient home improvements, builders are finishing off a flurry of end-of-the-year projects.

When things slow in January, builders should cast their gaze to clean technology, which benefits from a tax credit that won’t expire until Dec. 31, 2016.

Just like the expiring tax credit, which offers a 30 percent tax credit on qualifying windows, doors, HVAC systems, insulation, water heaters and roofing, the clean tech tax credit offers a 30 percent tax credit on solar energy systems, geothermal heat pumps and residential wind turbines. Here’s the major difference: The clean tech tax credit has no upper limit, inviting consumers to spend away.

Builders can leverage the clean tech tax credit for new business by learning the extensive incentives involved. Homeowners with solar panels, for instance, can receive federal, state and city incentives, which can help offset the considerable initial expenses. Trust — the incentives add up.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a great resource for builders working with consumers who are committed to owning a smart, energy efficient home. The clean tech incentives are boundless, but DSIRE is nothing if not easily navigable.