Last updated: September 06. 2013 8:00PM -

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Thinking of making some “green” home improvements? As you probably already know, the government offers hundreds in tax incentives to homeowners who pump up their home’s efficiency. Many of these tax credits end this December.

According to an article called, “Give Me a (Tax) Break” in the November/December 2011 issue of Natural Home magazine, since 2005 the federal government “has offered a variety of tax credits to help defray the total cost of residential upgrades that produce years of utility savings but require a large upfront investment.” One of the biggest credits expires at the end of this year. It is the energy-efficiency tax credit which can help pay for the installation of energy-efficient heating and cooling systems.

If you make some of these upgrades in time, the credit can be applied to your 2011 taxes by filing IRS form 5695 with your taxes. According to the article, products eligible for energy-efficiency must be purchased and installed by Dec. 31, 2011. The credit is capped at $500.

The other big federal program is the renewable-energy tax credit, which covers up to 30 percent of residential alternative-energy systems. It has no cap and has been extended through 2016.

To find out if you qualify for other state and local incentives, look on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (dsireusa.org). Other resources to learn more information about these programs include: Alliance to Save Energy (ase.org); The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (aceee.org); the National Association of State Energy Officials Onaseo.org); and Tax Incentives Assistance Project (energytaxincentives.org).

Good luck!

Tuesday Trippier lives in Delaware, is a writer and mother of four with a special interest in green living.

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