2009-03-05 / Local & State

Stimulus Plan To Bring Tax Breaks

By G. Jeffrey MacDonald CORRESPONDENT OF THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

Hampton Falls, N.H. - Energy saving systems for the attic, basement, and in between have effectively gone on sale, courtesy of the United States Congress.

Tax incentives to encourage investments in energy efficiency took effect when President Barack Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill. That means homeowners with drafty windows, old heating systems, or other root causes of high energy bills can be rewarded in tax season if they make improvements in 2009 or 2010.

"This is by far the most the federal government has done in the past several decades" to reward energy-efficiency investments, says Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. "In many cases, this will make the high-efficiency product cheaper than the low-efficiency product.

New incentives increase the size of tax credits for homeowners who buy qualifying products. For instance, those who invest in highly-rated insulation, replacement windows, duct seals, or high-efficiency heating and cooling systems can now receive a tax credit worth 30 percent of the upgrade cost (maximum credit value: $1,500).

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