Obama’s Stimulus Plan Means New Tax Credits for Heating and Cooling
A New Energy Efficient Heater of Air Conditioner Can Save Your Big On Both Your Tax and Utility Bills
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(WILMINGTON, DE; March 1, 2009) — On February 17, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), a policy created to jump-start the sagging U.S. economy. In addition to creating new jobs and promoting long-term economic growth, the new policy contains helpful provisions for the American homeowner, including tax credits for purchasing and installing energy efficient heating and air conditioning products.
The President has made energy efficiency a key component of his economic policy.
“We will modernize more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills,” said Obama. “In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced – jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel eficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.”
Among the projects funded through stimulus plan will be an investment in the upgrading of energy, heating and cooling systems in government buildings and schools. States will receive $9.75 billion to modernize and renovate schools’ heating and cooling systems. Billions more will be invested in energy retrofitting and investing in green projects in HUD-assisted housing and federal buildings.
But perhaps the biggest beneficiary will be the American homeowner who will receive considerable tax breaks and incentives for upgrading and installing energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment this year and next.
Under the new plan, the tax credit has been raised from 10% to 30% (a $1,500 limit) for the installation of qualified energy efficient water heaters, furnaces, boilers, air source heat pumps and central air conditioners in 2009 and 2010. Qualified heating and cooling equipment includes:
- Ninety-five percent AFUE gas furnaces
- 90% AFUE oil and gas furnaces and gas, propane, or oil-fired boilers
- 16 SEER/13 EER and greater central air conditioners
- 15 SEER/12.5 EER/8.5 HSPF split heat pumps
- 0.82 energy factor/90% thermal efficiency gas, propane, or oil water heaters
Homeowners can also receive a 30% tax credit on installation costs of residential wind, and geothermal and residential solar thermal property, and additional credits for improvements to doors, windows, roofing and insulation.
According to Mark Aitken, president of Horizon Services, Inc. , a leading plumbing, heating and air conditioning services company in Wilmington, DE, not all homes and not all heating and air conditioning products are covered by ARRA.
“Consumers should be aware that just because they are buying a new heater or air conditioner and just because it is a good product and has the ENERGY STAR label, it may not necessarily qualify for these tax credits,” said Aitken. “Only those ENERGY STAR designated heating and cooling products that meet the highest efficiency levels qualify. So consumers need to pay close attention that they are buying the right furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, boiler or water heater.”
Aikent adds that in addition to purchasing qualified heating and cooling equipment, homeowners will maximize their energy savings by making sure that their new heaters and air conditioners are properly sized and installed.
“The primary reasons that a new furnace, air conditioner or other heating or cooling product does not live up to energy efficiency expectations is because the installer did not match the homeowner with the right size equipment for their home or did not take the time to properly install the equipment,” said Aitken. “Just buying a the highest rated heater or air conditioner is not enough.
Homeowners need to make sure that the company they are working with provides a thorough In-Home Energy Analysis up-front that identifies the right size heater or air conditioner for their home type and usage needs. And then they have to make sure that the installer meets and follows certain installation standards so that the new heating or cooling system is connected and configured for optimal performance.
For More Information About the Federal Tax Credits You Can Qualify for Under ARRA:
- ENERGY STAR Website
- The White House’s Official Statement of ARRA
- ARRA in its entirety
- Learn More about Installing and Replacing Heating and Cooling Equipment
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