• The federal government is offering some financial incentives in the form of a tax credit to homeowners making home improvements. The credits can be claimed on income taxes for the year in which the improvements were purchased—either 2009 or 2010. With a tax credit, the amount is deducted from the taxes owed.
• Upgrades such as insulation, windows, doors, roofing, heating and air-conditioning systems, and water heaters qualify for a federal tax credit of 30 percent of the purchase price of the product, up to $1,500. More-costly improvements, including solar water heaters, solar panels, small wind-energy systems, and geo-thermal heat pumps, offer a credit of 30 percent of the purchase price, but with no cap.
• Details on which products qualify can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program Web site at http://www.energystar.gov/.
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