Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hooray for tax day

While most people loathe tax day, we couldn't wait to file our taxes this year. That's because we were due to receive tax credits from the government for some of the green features we incorporated into our new house.

I will say that there weren't as many tax credits as I would have initially imagined, because many of the high-efficiency items we installed in the house only earn tax credits when they're installed in currently existing homes, not in new builds. Also, many of the tax incentives that are being earned from our house go directly to the builders, not to the homeowners (so there are great benefits to builders who build high-efficiency homes!).

But there were two major things we did earn credit for: our solar hot water heater and our Energy Star appliances. The solar hot water heater earned us the most: from the federal government we received 30% of the cost of the heater, and from the state we earned an additional $1,400, for a total of about $4,400.

By installing all Energy Star appliances, we also earned about $300 back from Oregon (but no federal tax credit).

Of course, the tax credits are not the reason we chose these green features. But they are a nice added benefit!

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