Kermit the Frog might find it hard to be green, but when you can get tax credits for simple, eco-friendly actions you might disagree. For example, try cleaning out your closet! By tossing an old pair of shoes in the Goodwill bin instead of the trash can, you can get a tax reduction for being green. And, clothes aren’t the only items that can translate to cash -- computers, phones and old appliances all count, too! Learn more about other ways you can go green to save green by taking advantage of green energy tax credits and deductions:
Tax lingo gets tricky, so here are the basics: A tax credit is a direct reduction of the taxes due versus a tax deduction, which is a reduction in taxable income. By taking advantage of green tax credits and deductions, you could significantly reduce the amount of money that you owe.
Install a Solar Energy System. If you live in a sunny place, a solar water heater or other solar-powered system could significantly reduce your energy costs. Plus, with the solar energy tax credit, you can take 30% off of both the physical parts of the system and the installation cost with no upper limit. All Energy Star rated solar water heaters will qualify you for the credit as long as you’re using them for home water needs (so heating your swimming pool is not an option).
Recycle and Repurpose. Many companies give tax deductions in the form of receipts for things like furniture, computer equipment and clothing. So, if you’re ready to upgrade your old Macbook or are cleaning out your closet, bring it to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. You’ll keep it out of the landfill, allow someone else to use it and save money on taxes. Win, win, win.
Buy Efficiency-Rated Products. Buying efficiency-rated products like those with an Energy Star tag can save you between $50 and $350 dollars in the form of tax credits. Buying Energy Star appliances can reduce air pollution, help conserve natural resources and lower your utility bills. To learn more about the benefits of Energy Star appliances, read: Shop Energy Star.
Buy Green Technology Roofing Materials. If it’s time to refurbish, replace or buy new roofing material, opt for energy-efficient roofing material to qualify for green energy tax credits. You’ll get credit for 10% of the cost, for up to a $500 credit. The new technologies in green roofing material will improve your heating and cooling costs and reduce your energy consumption. If you’re unsure if it’s time for a new roof, read: Inspect Your Roof.