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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Monday, Nov. 18, 2013

Winter heating bill too high? Consider an energy tax credit

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


Is your winter heating bill too high? Grab an energy tax credit for yourself to offset the cost -- before they expire!

Climatologists are predicting it will be more expensive to heat your home this winter. That's not because energy costs are up. In fact, those who heat with natural gas are enjoying very low rates. But last year was mild in much of the country, and this year is expected to be normal to cold. So your heating bills will be higher because of use.

Fortunately, you can qualify for up to $500 in federal tax credits for installing energy-efficient appliances and upgrades.  But hurry, some credits expire soon. Check EnergyStar.gov for complete information. Here's a sample of what's available:

Tax Credit: 10% of cost up to $500 or a specific amount from $50–$300
Expires: December 31, 2013
Details: Must be an existing home and your principal residence. New construction and rentals do not qualify.

  • Biomass stove
  • HVAC systems
  • Insulation
  • Roofs (metal & asphalt)
  • Water heaters (non-solar)
  • Windows & doors (I don't recommend replacing your windows; just make sure they're properly insulated and caulked)

 

Tax Credit: 30% of cost with no upper limit
Expires: December 31, 2016
Details: Existing homes and new construction qualify. Both principal residences and second homes qualify. Rentals do not qualify.

  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Small wind turbines (residential)
  • Solar energy systems


We can't control the weather. But we can control how we deal with the cost of a very cold winter or a very hot summer!

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