Deadline nears for home energy tax credits

By Andy Jenks - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - With cold temperatures expected to linger, keeping warm is a hot topic, especially because the government is offering you big bucks to be energy efficient.

For every dollar you spend on insulation, the government will give you back about a third of it. Installers like Charles Crowders say the incentive is keeping them busy.

"It's fun, I like doing it. Different things. You don't see the same thing every day," said Crowders, of Crittenden Drywall Company.

In addition to new insulation, the commonly-called Home Energy Tax Credit applies to energy efficient windows and doors…even water heaters and HVAC units. Consumers get back 30 percent of the cost up to $1,500. The catch is that the products must be installed by New Year's Eve, meaning time is running out.

Bob Meighan is vice president of Turbo Tax.

"So if you're planning to put insulation in the attic or replace those drafty windows or even replace the creaky old furnace, do so now before the end of the year," Meighan said.

New construction and rental properties do not qualify. The credit is geared mainly toward older, less energy efficient houses.

"We'll drill holes, we'll blow the insulation up, we'll blow it down," Crowders said.

The government says the items you buy now will pay you back over time in the form of lower utility bills, and that will keep guys like Charles working all the way through the holiday season.

"Oh yeah, I highly recommend getting insulation put in," he said.

The credit covers the cost of materials, not installation. The opportunity expires December 31. For more information, click here.

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