Types of Alternative Energy
Wind, solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal. We are hearing more about these types of alternative energy than ever before and with good reason. In addition to the environmental concerns, energy independence from foreign entities and electric companies that are threatening double digit increases are becoming more appealing to everyone.
Anything from your business to your home to your car can be powered using a variety of types of alternative energy and although the technology is expensive, it’s becoming more cost effective every day. With the incentives and rebates available from federal, state and local governments and in some cases your electric company, many are finding that they can afford the energy source they desire but never thought possible.
If you’re in the market for a more eco-friendly car, the government provides tax breaks. How much you can save depends on a number of factors, and you may want to check for incentives and tax breaks available from your local government.
First, the make and model is considered. Full credit tax incentives have been limited to the first 60,000 cars sold of a certain type. That means that if you buy a car that has sold more of that brand than 60,000, you will only qualify for a partial credit and after a while there is no credit available at all.
The government also limits the amount of incentive by the fuel economy of the car. Depending on the percentage of improved gas mileage of your new car, you may save as little as $250 or as much as $5,000. Tax incentives for electric cars expired in 2006. Incentives are fickle and changing rapidly, keeping up to date before you purchase a new car could save thousands.
Better than a Free Lunch
Homes and businesses are also eligible for tax breaks and government incentives if they use renewable energy sources. The cost of installation is expensive, preventing many from installing systems to generate their own energy, however with all of the incentives available, more people are finding they can afford to convert to a renewable energy source much sooner than they previously thought and are equally surprised by the types of alternative energy options available.
The federal government offers up to a 30% tax credit for residential customers who choose to install energy producing systems. If you choose to make improvements to your home to make it more energy efficient, you can also get a tax credit of $1500, until December 31, 2010. This includes insulation, windows, doors, heating and cooling systems, and furnaces and water heaters that qualify as energy efficient and are Energy Star rated. The federal government is not the only way to save money. Individual states and communities also have their own incentives depending on where you live. Many utility companies also offer incentives and any extra power you have generated can be sold back to your power grid for a credit on your bill. Some people even make money off of their alternative energy systems by net metering.
Energy Star partners also occasionally offer rebates depending on the location, type of energy saving appliance or repair you have made, and when you made the switch. Different companies offer different types of rebates but simply checking the Energy Star website and entering your zip code can help you find any rebates currently being offered in your area. We've provided a link, below.
Some people, using all of the tax breaks and rebates available, can save a majority of the cost of installing their own alternative energy systems. The savings you see in the long run can make up for any out of pocket expense you have after installing your system and can actually make you money in some cases. Alternative energy is much more affordable than ever before.
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