October 22, 2010
Act Now: Federal Tax Credit for Home Energy Improvements Expires on December 31
October 22, 2010 With cold weather approaching and federal tax credits set to expire, now is the time to take action on energy efficiency measures that will save you money, keep you warm, and reduce your energy use over the winter months, according to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
A federal tax credit of up to $1,500 is available only until December 31 for a variety of energy efficiency measures, including purchases of a furnace or hot water heater, or installation of windows, doors, insulation and other measures. For complete information on the federal tax credit, visit www.energystar.gov.
In addition, here are some simple low-cost and no-cost energy saving tips from NYSERDA, New York’s Energy Experts.
Seal up the Cracks. Keep the warm air in and the cold air out by adding insulation, caulking and weather-stripping around doors, attic access, windows, outlets and any area that can let the cold air in and the warm air out.
Buy a Good Thermostat. Use a programmable thermostat with your heating system to lower the temperature automatically when no one is home or at night. You can save nearly $200 a year without sacrificing any comfort.
Let the Sun Shine In. Take advantage of natural solar heating -- it’s free! Keep blinds and drapes of sun-exposed windows open in the daytime to let heat into your home.
Use Your Fan. Ceiling fans can keep you comfortable in the winter too. Reversing the direction of the blades pushes warm air down into the room.
Unblock the Vents. Make sure not to block floor and wall vents with draperies, furniture, or rugs. Also, clean vents regularly with a vacuum or broom.
Close the Damper. If you have a fireplace, install glass doors and close the damper when not in use to keep heated air from escaping up the chimney.
Buy a Power Strip. Plug your home entertainment system and electronics into an advanced power strip to reduce standby power. Advanced power strips can be found at your local hardware or home improvement store.
Replace the Bulbs. Replace your five most used bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and save more than $50 on your annual energy costs. ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs and use 75 percent less electricity.
Lower Your Water Temperature. Some manufacturers set water heater thermostats at 140 degrees, but you can save big dollars by lowering the temperature to 120 degrees, a safe, comfortable level for most people.
Reduce Your Cable’s Impact. Two cable/DVR set-top boxes use the same amount of electricity as a standard refrigerator. Request an energy-efficient cable box from your cable provider.
Want to save even more? To reduce your energy bills by as much as 40 percent, try Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®. Through this NYSERDA program, an accredited Home Performance contractor conducts an energy assessment on your home and recommends improvement options, and NYSERDA provides financial incentives and financing options to help pay for them.
With a few small steps, you can improve the energy efficiency, health and safety, and overall value of your home. All you've got to lose is your high heating bills.
(518) 862-1090, ext. 3544
Last Updated: 05/14/2013