Are There Tax Incentives for Green Homes?

At Dream Town we realize the value of all things Green. We are always on the lookout for green incentives and tips we can pass along to further the cause. An excellent place to start is the website for Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE). They have a complete database of all state incentives and policies for renewables and efficiency, in addition to links to Federal incentives. These incentives come in the form of tax breaks/credits, grants, loan guarantees and utility company rebates. Eligibility for the incentives is dependent on any number of variables. This site is quite verbose and we recommend browsing it on your own. But here are a few highlights we found interesting:

Energy-Efficient Mortgages
Homeowners can take advantage of energy efficient mortgages (EEM) to finance a variety of energy efficiency measures, including renewable energy technologies in a new or existing home. The U.S. federal government supports these loans by insuring them through Federal Housing Authority (FHA) or Veterans Affairs (VA) programs. This allows borrowers who might otherwise be denied loans to pursue energy efficiency improvements, and it secures lenders against loan default.

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion
“Utility rebates. If you are a customer of an electric utility company and you participate in the utility’s energy conservation program, you may receive on your monthly electric bill either: a reduction in the purchase price of electricity furnished to you (rate reduction), or a nonrefundable credit against the purchase price of the electricity. The amount of the rate reduction or nonrefundable credit is not included in your income.”

Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit
This credit applies to energy efficiency improvements in the building of existing homes and for the purchase of high-efficiency heating, cooling and water-heating equipment. Efficiency improvements or equipment must serve a dwelling in the United States that is owned and used by the taxpayer as a primary residence. The total maximum amount of homeowner credit for all improvements is $1,500 for equipment purchased during the two-year period of 2009 and 2010.

ComEd Smart Ideas for Your Home Efficiency Program
Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) offers residential customers and building owners (or managers) incentives for certain energy efficiency upgrades and improvements. Incentives are available to residential homeowners for lighting and refrigerator/freezer recycling. Building owners and property managers are eligible to receive incentives for certain efficiency upgrades in residential buildings where electricity is used for both water heating and space heating.

Peoples Gas – Chicagoland Natural Gas Savings Program
Peoples Gas offers the Chicagoland Natural Gas Savings Program to help customers purchase energy efficient equipment. Homeowners, landlords and small business owners are eligible for rebates on energy efficient furnaces, boilers, water heaters, insulation, and clothes washers. Gas furnaces, boilers, and water heaters must be installed by professional contractors to qualify for the program. Property owners may opt to self-install insulation or hire a professional contractor. A full list of eligibility requirements and instructions on how to apply for the rebates can be found at here. Applications must be made no later than 60 days after the equipment purchase date.

There are quite a few more for those willing to outfit their home with renewable energy sources such as solar power, etc. And, if you are looking to purchase a Chicago home that already has green features, our expert Chicago real estate agents can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

*Dream Town Real Estate intends this article for informative purposes only. We highly encourage you to speak to a tax professional about the particulars of any incentive you feel you may qualify for.