Talking Of Efficiency: Going Green Can Save You Green

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The talk of energy efficiency has been focused on the automobile and the tax credits that expired last week. However, there are many tax credits available to make your home more energy efficient that will save you money now and in the future.

In addition, an energy efficient home is in demand with today’s buyers and will make your home more marketable when it comes time to sell.

The federal government will give you back some of your money if you install energy efficient replacement products.

For 2009 and 2010 there is a tax credit available up to $1,500 if you replace worn out components in your home. The tax credit is available on energy efficient windows and doors, increased insulation, metal and asphalt roofs, non-solar water heaters, and heating/cooling systems.

The tax credit is on 30 percent of the qualifying products price (again up to $1,500) not including installation costs. The product must comply with rigorous energy star standards or you could be disallowed the tax credit.

Just because a product has the energy star label does not mean it will automatically qualify for the rebate. Excluded from the tax credit cap are geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, fuel cells, and small wind energy systems.

Two popular ways to heat in the Rim Country are fireplaces and pellet stoves. Fireplace conversions or Bio-Mass (pellet) stoves are also eligible for the federal tax credit if they have a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent.

Arizona Public Service is also offering a rebate of up to $550 for qualifying home heating/cooling systems that are professionally installed.

The systems must be installed by an APS qualified contractor in accordance with the APS quality installation standards. APS also has an incentive for the installation of solar water heaters.

The people who brought you the Prius are now going to bring you green grass roofs. Toyota Roof Gardens a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Company has created grass tiles for your roof.

The tiles are lightweight, have a built-in irrigation system and may be placed over an existing roof. Like all green roofs they provide natural cooling and thermal insulation.

In terms of maintenance, thanks to a special breed of Korean velvet grass, you will only have to mow your roof once a year. No word yet as to if this qualifies for a federal tax rebate.

Ray Pugel is a designated broker for Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty. Contact him at (928) 474-2216.

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