With gas prices still on the rise, the housing market in a state of flux, and the word ‘recession’ on the tip of pundits’ tongues, isn’t it nice to finally get some news that’s good for your pocketbook? North Carolina residents, take heart. Until December 31, 2010, you’re eligible for a Personal Renewable Energy Tax Credit that can yield as much as $10,500.
The 35% tax credit applies to single family dwellings and includes a dizzying array of technologies, among them passive solar space heat, wind, biomass, solar pool heating, renewable transportation fuels, and-in case you were wondering-spent pulping liquor. Here are some of the salient points: Homeowners can receive a maximum of $1,400 per residence for residential solar water-heating systems; a maximum of $10,500 per installation of residential photovoltaic, wind, or other renewable-energy systems; and a maximum of $3,500 per residence for passive space heating, active space heating, and combined active space and domestic water-heating systems. If commercial properties are your thing, keep in mind that this tax credit allows a maximum of $2,500,000 per installation for all solar, wind, hydro and biomass applications on commercial and industrial facilities.
Restrictions: the credit can’t exceed 50% of your liability for the year. Also, the system must be new and meet approval of the relevant agencies.
For those who are charitably minded, here’s an interesting caveat: In 2007, North Carolina’s tax code was revised so that taxpayers who make contributions to renewable energy projects of tax-exempt nonprofits can claim a credit. The amount is based on the percentage of the total project’s cost that their donation constitutes, keeping in mind what the nonprofit would receive as a tax credit were it not tax-exempt. For more information about the Personal Renewable Energy Tax Credit, visit www.ncsc.ncsu.edu.
Don’t reside in the Tarheel State? No worries. The clock is ticking on a federal Residential Solar and Fuel Cell Tax Credit that provides a 30% return–up to $2,000–on a photovoltaics system and a solar water heating system, respectively. If you’ve installed fuel cells, you may be eligible for a 30% credit of up to $500 per .5 kilowatt. The credit is good until December 31, 2008. Restrictions: You must have activated your new system-or moved into a new home containing the system–on or following January 1, 2006, and before December 31, 2008. Also, your solar water heating installation must be vetted by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation or similar organization, and cannot apply to hot tubs or swimming pools. Visit the Solar Energy Industries Association’s website, www.seia.org, to learn more.
Keeping on top of all of the tax credits and incentives out there can be challenging, especially as the technologies associated with green living expands. If you’re planning a green building or renovation project, consider bookmarking DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (www.dsireusa.org). The site features a clickable map of the United States and U.S. Territories, and provides information on local, state and federal incentives. It also has a glossary section, which can be extremely useful as you navigate your way through the financial labyrinth of what it means to profit from living-and building-green.