Energy tax credits and rebates still are available

By Joel Wensley
Living in Michigan, we all know how it’s just plain wise to have the highest efficiency furnace possible. The bigger your house, the more heat you use, hence, the more money you save on heating costs.

Now, what’s even better than that is having the government and the utility companies give you money back for saving money.

Contrary to popular belief, the tax credits didn’t end … they just got a little smaller. But to compensate for that, the utility companies are kicking in to give you even more money back to even things out.

Here’s the break down:

High efficiency furnaces credit: $150 off your taxes and over $400 back from the utility company. These furnaces must be at least 95 percent efficient. That’s about as efficient as you can get with a gas furnace.

High efficiency Air conditioning credit: $300. These units must have at least a 16 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. That’s a very high efficiency unit for Michigan.

High efficiency electrical blowers for furnaces credit: $50. Here the fan uses no more than 2 percent of total heating system energy use. These are typically what are known as variable speed motors.

High efficiency Water heater credit: $300. These must have an energy factor of at least 0.82, or a thermal of 90 percent or greater. The only models that meet this standard currently are tankless water heaters and some systems that combine both space and water heating.

For more information go to www.energytaxincentives.org.

Now remember, the most you can get back is just $500 providing that you haven’t used this same tax credit to that amount in the past three years. The only drawback is that high efficiency equipment is among the more expensive units to buy, but … have you ever heard of heating costs going down?

(Joel Wensley is a licensed mechanical contractor in the state of Michigan, a contributor on Fox 2 News on WJBK-TV Channel 2, and president of Mechanical Heating & Cooling in Dearborn Heights.)