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ARRA Lifts Cap Off Tax Credit

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Economic Stimulus Bill) signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17th, 2009, gave a huge boost to homeowners hoping to reduce their carbon footprint by adding sustainable energy components to their homes.

For several years the IRS has offered a 30% tax credit for the installation of solar (photovoltaic and thermal,) wind generation, and geothermal heat pumps. However, there has been a $2,000 cap on the credit, severely restricting the benefit of the credit on these systems which can cost much more than that.

The ARRA, however, removed the cap on the credit entirely. There are some restrictions, so please consult a qualified tax accountant before making a buy decision based on the credit.

Furthermore the equipment you buy must be Energy-Star rated by the EPA. Not all sustainable energy improvements are. For example, EarthLinked® Geothermal Heat Pumps, which we represent, are Energy Star rated, while most other geothermal heat pumps are not. Check to see if the products you are considering are Energy Star rated at http://www.energystar.gov.

However, on a state-of-the-art $40,000 system the IRS' contribution would rise from $2,000 to $12,000—we're hoping that might pique your interest.

And that's not all: Kevin Eber of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory notes other benefits that might go missed by the average observer. "For residential renewable energy systems, the act removes all caps on the tax credits, which equal 30 percent of the cost of qualified solar energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, small wind turbines and fuel cell systems. The act also eliminates a reduction in credits for installations with subsidized financing, explains Eber." 1

We have authored several different analyses that can help you determine if your part of the investment can make sense economically and environmentally. For a free copy of these spreadsheets, please fill out the simple form below and let us know what technology you are considering, and as much detail as you can share about your project. We'll modify the analysis to suit your project, if necessary, and speed it to you right away.

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1 Environment News Service, "Green Billions Fertilize the U.S. Economic Stimulus Package", 02/20/2009,
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2009/2009-02-20-02.asp, (2 March 2009)

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