Sources of Money that Remodelers and Homeowners Should Know About


Energy Star Tax Credits
Go to www.energystar.gov, and click on the link at the bottom called “Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency.” These credits can cover up to 30% of the cost of improvements as outlined on the Energy Star website. Roofing, water heaters, windows & doors and more are all included in these incentives for home owners through the end of 2010.  Some special items are covered until 2016. 

Another great website as a resource is www.EnergyTaxIncentives.org.  It is sponsored by a group called the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP), a coalition of public interest nonprofit groups, government agencies, and other organizations in the energy efficiency field.  The site is a resource to help you find your way around the federal income tax incentives for energy efficient products and technologies passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequently amended several times.

Utility Company Rebates
Utility Company Rebates are on the rise.  Some programs are already in place, others are under development and/or growing.  The best way to determine what is available is to go to the individual website for your utility and check.  Here are a few of the most common utilities in the area:

Detroit Edisonwww.dteenergy.com and click on residential, and look for energy efficiency rebates.  DTE is offering a whole home performance rebate of up to $5,000 for the first 100 customers who sign up that have both DTE and MichCon as their utility.  DTE also has a program available for new home builders.  Dollars are limited as of July 2010, so hurry to see what’s available from DTE.

Consumers Energy:   www.ConsumersEnergy.com Click on “your home” then click on the links for energy efficiency programs.

Another good website to keep an eye on is MichiganSaves.org.  As more programs are made available through the Utilities, this site will get the word out.  Michigan Saves serves as a clearing house for loans for energy efficient improvements to homes and businesses.  Michigan Saves will finance the installation of energy measures with no upfront cost to utility customers.

State of Michigan Tax Credits
The state of Michigan is also offering tax credits to homeowners who upgrade the energy efficiency of their home.  Michigan residents who upgrade their refrigerator, washer or dryer to an energy star appliance are eligible to receive a $25 to $100 rebate.  More information on this can be found at www.mirebates.com. Larger rebates can be received for heating systems, hot water heaters, and solar applications.  For information on this visit:  www.michrebate.com.     

MSHDA Low Interest Property Improvement Loans
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has a program to provide down payment assistance for first time income qualified home buyers.  The income limit on a 1-2 person household is relatively high at $80,000 and the house price limit is $224,000.  

In addition, MSHDA offers a program for income-qualifying people (up to $74,500 annual household income) to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

Go to www.michigan.gov/MSHDA for more information on these programs.

Home Star Tax Credits (Federal)
This is a program that has not been implemented yet.  It is proposed in a bill that yet needs to be approved by the U.S. Senate and signed by the President.  The current version of the Home Star bill provides for two tiers of rebates exceeding the current $1500 /household cap for most upgrades: 
•    Silver ; up to $3,000 / household
•    Gold; up to $8,000 / household
There will be lobbying and movement that are sure to effect implementation and administration of the fund. Regardless, the industry looks to benefit with any passage.

Especially for Remodelers
For members of the HBA of Greater Lansing rebates are available from some 35 different manufacturers.  Last year average rebate amounts were nearly $1,000 per builder.  For a list of manufacturers and products, go to www.HBARebates.com

National Directory
Another site for people who want a larger perspective and have time to surf more thoroughly, visit www.dsireusa.org. This is the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.  This site is comprehensive and lists incentives around the country and gives more detail on some of the federal incentives that are in place.