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Some Environmentally-Friendly Home Improvements May Save Money

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The NY1 Real Estate report has details on how some simple home improvements to go green may actually help you earn some green. NY1's Jill Urban filed the following report.

If you are thinking of doing some simple energy efficient home improvements, now could be the best time to do it.

"If you do some simple energy star equipment upgrades on your home, you'll get tax credits for the years 2012 and 2013," said Juan Gutierrez, an energy star coordinator with the Environmental Protection Agency.

First, you can get a 10 percent credit on some basic improvements.

"Tax credits are available for energy star-certified products, such as up to 10 percent on windows, doors, insulation, roofs, HVAC equipment," Gutierrez says. "Also water heaters and biomass stoves."

You can even get a credit on winterizing products. If you seal up your home with energy star calking, spray foam or insulation, you can get some money back.

Credits for these items have some price limits and must be purchased by the end of the year.

If you are thinking bigger and want to install energy-producing equipment on your home, you can see a 30 percent tax credit.

"You get up to a 30 percent tax credit by either having solar panels, solar water heaters, geothermals, fuel cells or combined heat and power at your residence," Gutierrez says.

Those credits are eligible until December 31, 2016.

The credits are only eligible on the products themselves, not the installation. Also, there are some limitations. The home must be your primary residence. It’s not eligible for new construction, and it's not eligible for rentals.

If you qualify, the steps are easy.

"You should keep all your receipts, all your manufacturing certification statements and make sure you fill out IRS form 5695," Gutierrez says.

So if you’re looking to be a little more energy efficient, it will be good for the environment and your wallet.

For more details on the tax credits, go to energystar.gov/taxcredits.

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