Home energy-saving ideas that can reduce taxes

By Tom Musbach

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Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided from a Expert on JustAnswer:

Q: I am planning on building a new home. I want to make it a green, efficient home but also take advantage of the refundable and non-refundable tax credits. What needs to be in my home to make this happen?

A: Anything that reduces energy consumption should be incorporated into the design. Your architect, who draws your plans, can "dot the I's and cross the T's" on this. But an overview includes:

  • Energy-efficient heating and cooling (gets tax credit)
  • Super insulation (gets tax credit)
  • High energy-efficient windows and doors (gets tax credit)
  • Energy-efficient lighting, fixtures, and bulbs ( gets utility rebates)
  • Natural landscaping that does not use potable water
  • Low-flow & low-flush plumbing fixtures (reduce demand on water supplies)
  • Passive solar heating (reduce energy consumption for heating)
  • Solar hot water heating (gets tax credit)
  • Solar and/or wind electric generation to reduce dependency on grid power (gets tax credit)
  • Metal roofing with insulation & radiant barrier (gets homeowner's insurance discount & reduces cooling demand)
  • Passive roof & attic ventilation(reduces cooling demand)
  • Composting toilets (reduce demand on public waste handling)
  • On-site septic system (recycles water to aquifer instead of municipal dumping)
  • Recycled building components/materials (reduces carbon footprint)
  • Orientation of structure for optimum winter solar gain, and placement of deciduous shade trees for optimum summer shading.

-- Answer from Stephen Cutler, construction and remodeling Expert on JustAnswer