The information in this feature refers to home improvements installed in 2010 and claimed on 2010 tax forms. See how tax credits for home improvements have been reduced for 2011.
This is the year. If you've been sitting on home fixes, waiting for the right time, it's 2010. Lucrative federal tax incentives are set to expire at the end of 2010, meaning these projects will never be more affordable. The government will cover 30% of the costs, in most cases, and investments in energy efficiency generally pay for themselves over time, since you'll be paying for less wasted energy year after year. (Except where noted, taxpayers can qualify for no more than $1,500, regardless of the total cost of multiple qualifying projects were performed in 2009 and 2010.)
Get an Energy Audit
Replace Old Windows
Replace an Old Appliance
A home "cash for clunkers" program is also gearing up at the state level, so look for local incentives to defray the cost of buying certain Energy Star appliances like clothes washers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators and small A/C units). Furnaces and water heaters are the biggest energy users overall, while refrigerators are typically the biggest electricity hogs.