We all know there are not many federal government incentives for green building right now. Many states have picked up the ball and implemented some decent local incentives of their own. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania is not one of those states at the moment. They are working on state legislation to improve this, but for now we only have the Federal credits to rely on.
From what I can see there are two Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency that we may be eligible for. Both can be found on the Energy Star website at http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=products.pr_tax_credits.
The first is for our builder. If we are able to build a “home that achieves 50% energy savings for heating and cooling over the 2004 IECC” then our builder is eligible for a $2,000 tax credit. We simply have to fill out some forms and pay our LEED Provider $100 or so to certify that we met this goal. Since an Energy Star home is only required to be 15% more efficient than this same code, this is no easy task. We are currently aiming for this 50% goal which equates to a HERS rating of 50, but the goal may slip due to budget constraints.
The second available tax credit is for Solar Water Heating that we are now looking into. The government will consider paying us 30% of the cost of a Solar Thermal system up to $2,000. Since a typical solar thermal system, including storage tank and installation will most likely run us close to $10K, we would be able to take advantage of the full $2,000 credit.
So, best case scenario is that we get $4,000 back from the government. This brings our total budget to $104,000 for construction while still hitting our $100K goal. That’s at least enough to pay for the purchase and installation of our HRV unit.
Both of these credits run out at the end of 2008. Hopefully they will be replaced with something a bit more substantial, especially for PV and small wind.