Sustainable, Environmentally Responsible Home Improvements

As we look ahead to reduced dependency on oil and coal we see new home building technology developing and available for installation that will reduce our individual and collective Carbon Footprint, making the future a better place for generations to come. 

My commitment as your REALTOR is to be knowledgeable about a variety of issues the affect the community we share as we all seek to reduce our impact on the planet to assure the success of children living in the future. 

Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency  are available if you purchase a qualified energy-efficient product or renewable energy system for your home.   Below you will find an overview of the federal tax credits for energy efficiency. 

You are encouraged to contact your electric utility as well since they are mandated to deliver efficiency credits 

First Level installation of any of the following: 

Bio Mass Stoves and Fibers  Biomass is any  plant or animal matter that has enough energy inside that can be released when burned. Pellet stoves often use wood fibers that have been pressed. The fire in a pellet stove can be easier to control and pellets are more convenient to use than logs.

Heating/Ventilating and Air conditioning 

Advanced Main Air Circulating Fan

Central Air Conditioning (CAC)

Metal and Asphalt Roofing Material – Qualified roof products reflect more of the sun’s rays, which can lower roof surface temperature by up to 100F, decreasing the amount of heat transferred into your home.

Insulation

Non Solar Water Heaters

Windows and Doors

Not all ENERGY STAR qualified products qualify for a tax credit. ENERGY STAR distinguishes energy efficient products which, although they may cost more to purchase than standard models, will pay you back in lower energy bills within a reasonable amount of time, without a tax credit.

Second Level installation of any of the following: 

Geothermal Heat Pumps—-With geothermal heating systems, there’s no need to create heat, hence no need for chemical combustion. Instead, the Earth’s natural heat is collected in winter through a series of pipes, called a loop, installed below the surface of the ground or submersed in a pond or lake. Fluid circulating in the loop carries this heat to the home.

There will be a total of $4.5 million in Geothermal Incentive grant funds available in Connecticut from December 2009 ending on or before April 2012, This level of funding will support the installation of approximately 600 residential and commercial geothermal heat pump systems.

Small Wind Turbines are one of the fastest-growing sources of energy around the world. It is popular because it is abundant and provides many communities with a clean, local source of electricity, as opposed to imported fossil fuels. In the United States, which passed Germany to become the country producing the most wind power, the Department of Energy has estimated that wind power could account for 20 percent of the nation’s electricity supply by 2030.

Solar Energy Systems

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. We offer financial incentives and educational programs to encourage homeowners, companies, municipalities, and other institutions to support renewable energy and lead the nation toward a brighter energy future.      

With your CT Solar Lease™, you pay a fixed monthly payment.  As electric prices are expected to continue rising, your monthly payment stays the same thus increasing the savings on your electric bill.

Not all ENERGY STAR qualified products qualify for a tax credit. ENERGY STAR distinguishes energy efficient products which, although they may cost more to purchase than standard models, will pay you back in lower energy bills within a reasonable amount of time, without a tax credit.

Third Level installation of any of the following: 

Your energy star tax credit can be 30% of the cost with no limit, up to $500/ .5 kW power capacity. This currently expires December 31, 2016 and is only offered for your planned new construction and existing principal residence.   I suggest you verify status of this credit availability before proceeding with your purchase and installation

Fuel Cells – A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that produces electricity and heat from a fuel (often hydrogen) and oxygen. Unlike a conventional engine, it does this without burning the fuel and can therefore be more efficient and cleaner.

Micro Turbine Systems are a relatively new distributed generation technology being used for stationary energy generation applications. They are a type of combustion turbine that produces both heat and electricity on a relatively small scale.  MicroTurbines offer several potential advantages compared to other technologies for small-scale power generation.

Not all ENERGY STAR qualified products qualify for a tax credit. ENERGY STAR distinguishes energy efficient products which, although they may cost more to purchase than standard models, will pay you back in lower energy bills within a reasonable amount of time, without a tax credit.

Northeast Sustainable Energy Association has reference pages that allow you to search for sustainable products and services within the Northeast region.            

The Construction Waste Management Database contains information on companies that haul, collect and process recyclable debris from construction projects.          

The Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) is the only web-based portal providing government and industry practitioners with one-stop access to up-to-date information on a wide range of building-related guidance, criteria and technology from a ‘whole buildings’ perspective. Currently organized into three major categories—Design Guidance, Project Management and Operations & Maintenance—at the heart of the WBDG are Resource Pages, reductive summaries on particular topics.  

CT Clean Energy Options is a Department of Public Utilities Control (DPUC) approved program that allows any CL&P or UI customer the opportunity to support clean energy made from approved renewable resources such as wind and small hydro.

Founded in 1971, the mission of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to conserve, improve and protect the natural resources and environment of the State of Connecticut.

There are many ways to reuse or recycle items that are no longer of use to us in our homes.  

I believe we all have a responsibility to educate ourselves about the world we live in and our effect upon it. Plains Indians have a tradition that bears consideration. 

When they considered a change in their way of life or use of resources they would try and imagine on the effect it would have on the seventh generation. That would be about 175 years from now if your children became parents at age 25. How do we want the world to be for our family and friends? We have the ability to make responsible choices every day, in large and small ways. Some of those options are listed below.

Copyright 2014 by David Carr. All Rights reserved