A Publication of WTVP

Home improvement season is here, and the Better Business Bureau is offering advice on how to take advantage of tax credits being offered by the federal government while increasing home energy efficiency and helping the environment at the same time.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included several new and expanded tax credits that homeowners can take advantage of, and according to Remodeling magazine’s 2008-2009 Cost vs. Value report, energy-efficient replacement projects are some of the best bets for recouping money at resale. Some qualifying improvements include routine work that every homeowner must undertake now and then, such as installing a new roof. Other qualifying improvements are more involved, including installing a wind or solar energy system.

“Increasing the energy efficiency of your home is one way to cut down on monthly bills, and now is a great time to make some modest home improvements to take advantage of federal tax credits and boost resale value,” said BBB CEO Bonnie Bakin. “Before making any energy-saving purchases, do your homework, because not all products qualify for a tax credit.”

To qualify, improvements must typically be made on the owner’s primary residence. Homeowners should keep in mind that just because a product has an ENERGY STAR seal—the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for energy-efficient consumer products—it doesn’t mean the purchase qualifies for the tax credit. For the following home improvements, a household can take a tax credit for 30 percent of the improvement cost, up to $1,500 total for all improvements made.

A full list of qualifying home improvements is available online at

BBB offers the following advice for homeowners on finding a trustworthy company or contractor to help make their house greener:

For more information on making home improvements, visit iBi