Ways to save some green by going green
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Saving money and saving the environment: in the age of going green, saving energy is to everybody's benefit and now the IRS is dishing out tax credits to encourage homeowners to jump on board. IRS senior spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge said, “Homeowners who may be winterizing their homes right now, if they're adding insulation, replacing exterior doors or windows, all of those kinds of purchases can qualify for this credit that they can claim on their tax return.” Skye Dunning moved into his Wilmington home five years ago and has already made several changes. “In this case, this house being built in 1942, I really needed some things just to make it more comfortable and make it more efficient, just to have realistic energy bills,” he said. Sealing off the attic and roof with insulation, replacing some windows, and installing a solar powered water heater has meant a world of difference. “We've seen our bills drop thirty-five percent, and that was from when we moved in and started working,” Dunning said. “We did a new HAC system right away. I would guess that, compared to before we moved in with the person that was living here before us, that its probably fifty percent savings; a big difference.” Dunning found tax credits for all of these upgrades, and saved thousands of dollars. He said it is a win-win. “You have to finance or come up with the money for the work to be done obviously, but then you get money back on that and your energy bills come down. You can either spend that money on whatever you want, or if you're financing it you can get those tax credits back and pay off those loans sooner so you're paying less interest.” There are a number of tax breaks out there you may already qualify for without even knowing it. To learn more about how you can save by going green, visit our Green Begins With Me page.

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Good article with a lot of good recommendations, but why not provide some details on the cost of that solar water heater? I looked at installing one in my house and the cost was so high that it meant a ten-year payback when compared to my monthly electric bill. (I'll bet the payback is much longer for natural gas.) Plus, it needed routine maintenance such as pump replacement and occasionally, tank replacement. If you crunched the numbers over twenty years, the only real advantage was in reducing demand from Progress Energy. I would be saving nothing. A far cheaper alternative is to add a timer to your water heater. Have it cut off at 11 PM and back on at 4 AM. If the house is empty all day, you can also have it cut off at 8 AM and come back on at 4 PM. It cuts your electric bill and extends the life of your heating elements.