Avista customers considering home improvement projects can leverage rebates offered by the utility with possible federal energy tax credits to save on energy efficiency improvements which can help reduce their monthly energy use.
Homeowners upgrading to high efficiency, energy saving equipment like a heating system, water heater including natural gas tankless units, central air conditioner and certain Energy Star appliances can immediately receive from $25 to $1,500 from Avista depending on the equipment installed. Avista rebates are also available for customers installing energy efficiency windows and increasing attic, wall and floor insulation in under-insulated homes.
In addition to receiving rebates from Avista, customers may also qualify for federal tax credits for a number of home energy efficiency improvements made from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2010. The tax credits were extended as part of the recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the Stimulus bill.
The Stimulus bill also increased the tax credit from 10 to 30 percent of the cost of energy efficiency improvements, up to a combined total of $1,500 for all measures. However, some improvements such as ground source heat pumps, solar water heaters and solar panels are not subject to the $1,500 maximum.
Detailed information on the tax credits is available at www.energystar.gov. Avista recommends checking with a contractor and tax expert to make sure equipment decisions will qualify for the tax credits which are more stringent then Avista’s.
Bruce Folsom, director of energy efficiency for Avista, said many energy efficiency improvements made around the home can pay for themselves through Avista’s rebates, federal tax credits and monthly energy savings.
“In our area, heating costs make up from 40 to 60 percent of a home’s monthly energy bill during winter. By upgrading to a high efficiency furnace, a customer could reduce the heating portion of their bill by an average of 10 to 30 percent depending on the efficiency of their current equipment. Taking other energy savings steps like increasing insulation and switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs can add up to even more energy savings,” Folsom said.
Limited income customers should contact their local Community Action Partnership, or CAP agency, to see if they qualify for weatherization assistance from Avista. The utility provides a total of almost $2 million annually to the agencies for programs for qualifying customers that cover 100 percent of energy efficiency and weatherization upgrades like increasing insulation, sealing air leaks and improving space and water heating systems.
“Upgrading to high-efficiency equipment is the biggest step a homeowner can take to reduce their energy use, and the combination of rebates offered by Avista and federal tax credits makes now the best time to make improvements,” Folsom said.
Information on additional energy efficiency rebates and incentives offered by Avista for residential, commercial and industrial customers is available www.everylittlebit.com, along with other energy-saving information.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides service to 355,000 electric and 315,000 natural gas customers in three Western states. Avista’s primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.” For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
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