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The Green Life: Obama Extends Green Home-Improvement Tax Credits for 2011

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January 18, 2011

Obama Extends Green Home-Improvement Tax Credits for 2011

Cold house Feeling the draft? Your old furnace, windows, insulation may need an upgrade. If you're considering a home-retrofitting project in 2011, the good news is that the Obama administration extended green tax credits for another year. While the new incentives aren't quite as sweet as the 2010 benefits, it still makes good sense to upgrade your home in ways that'll end up conserving resources.

This year, you can recapture 10% of the cost (up to $500) of energy-saving improvements such as insulation, roofs, and doors. The 2011 tax credits for windows are capped at $200 and furnaces at $150. Note, though, that the Energy Star website emphasizes a $500 lifetime limit: "If you got over $500 in these tax credits from 2006 to 2010, you are not eligible for anything more," it says.

Over the long term, retrofitting can reduce heating bills. And since U.S. homes account for more than 20% of America's carbon dioxide emissions, energy-efficient structures are good for the whole planet.

--Della Watson

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