Going green is not only good for the environment, but it can also save you a lot of money! Here are some tips to save money while going green:
Use less gas: Using less gas is great for the environment and will save you a lot of money. The best part is that it is easy to reduce your gas consumption and save money. Some tips include properly inflating your tires, combining trips, maintaining your car for improved efficiency, reducing the time you allow your engine to idle and more.
Make energy efficient improvements. Energy-efficient home improvements such as installing more energy efficient windows, doors, insulation, roofs, heating and air conditioning systems, and non-solar water heaters, may be eligible for tax credits if the improvements were made during 2009. Each homeowner may be eligible for up to $500 in total tax credits.
Save on heating and air-conditioning costs. There are many free and inexpensive things you can do to save money on air conditioning costs and heating costs. Here are some more tips on free ways to save money on heating costs and inexpensive ways to save money on heating costs. While you’re at it, buy a programmable thermostat – they can save you a lot of money in the long run!
E-file your taxes: E-filing your taxes is the way to go. Not only will you save paper and trees, but it is safer, but it results in fewer errors and your tax return will be processed more quickly. The best news is that you can e-file for free, and if you are military you can get free tax preparation.
Go solar! Solar power is free and plentiful. Here are some ways you can harness the sun’s energy to reduce your energy costs.
- Solar water heater: You can receive a tax credit of 30% (up to $2,000) if you install a solar water heater in 2009.
- Solar photovoltaic (solar panels): If you install a solar panel system to convert sunlight into electricity in 2009, your tax credit will be 30% of the cost. Some states offer additional tax credits, so be sure to look into additional savings!
Wind energy systems: You can earn a tax credit of 30% of the cost up to $500 per half kW of capacity, with a cap of $4,000.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles: Earn a $2,500 to $7,000 tax credit effective January 1, 2009. There may be other tax credits available for other hybrid vehicles depending on the model and manufacturer.
Donate money to an approved environmental group. Giving a financial gift to an environmental group and save tax dollars by deducting your donations to IRS-approved charities when you itemize. Be sure to look up the charity before giving any of your hard earned money away – there are a lot of charity scams out there!
photo credit: barunpatro.