Stimulus bill also a boost for homeowners who go geothermal
Special to the News Bulletin
Homeowners who install new heating and cooling systems are eligible for increased tax incentives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
This bill combines spending and tax incentives designed to get the American economy moving again by investing in our nation’s road and energy infrastructure, and increasing the energy efficiency and performance of America’s homes and commercial buildings.
The bill, signed into law on Feb. 17, removes the $2,000 cap for geothermal and offers homeowners the entire 30 percent tax credit. For conventional systems the new bill removes the per-appliance cap of $150/$300 and offers up to a $1,500 tax credit.
“The improved tax incentive with a local utility rebate will make geothermal systems more affordable for homeowners and allow them to make decisions about their home comfort systems based more on energy and comfort concerns and less on installation price” said Thomas Gordon of Gordon Air Conditioning in Crestview.
Geothermal systems tap the free, renewable supply of solar energy stored just a few feet below the Earth’s surface and use that energy to drive heating and cooling systems in both residential and commercial buildings. In addition to utility incentives (Gulf Power offers a rebate of $400 per ton for qualifying geothermal systems) and now federal tax incentives that enhance the affordability of geothermal systems, this cost-effective, environmentally friendly technology offers a host of benefits:
• Free, renewable supply of solar energy
• Efficiency ratings up to five times higher than those of ordinary heating and cooling systems
• Savings on utility bills up to 70 percent
• Reduced carbon footprint since the system burns no fossil fuels
• More even distribution of heating and cooling for improved comfort
• Improved indoor air quality
• Quiet operation with no noisy outdoor units to disturb the environment or neighbors
• Safe operation that requires no open flame or fuel storage tanks
• Less maintenance
• Increased system longevity (an average life span of 24 years vs.15 for conventional air conditioners and 20 years for fossil fuel furnaces).