This Fourth of July, there are plenty of simple and cost-effective ways to celebrate energy independence, while improving the value of your home and saving money on your taxes. Maximizing a home's efficiency can reduce energy costs and lessen the impact on the environment, and can often be accomplished through a number of key home improvements and maintenance efforts.
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), homeowners can receive up to $1,500 in tax credits for investments in insulation, roofing and windows – making energy independence more appealing than ever. The federal tax credits for residential energy efficiency makes 2009 the perfect time for American homeowners to evaluate their homes.
Buildings are responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions than the entire transportation sector. Meeting or exceeding the recommended amount of insulation is an important first step in reducing a home's environmental impact. The ENERGY STAR program estimates that sealing and insulating can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs. Coupled with the residential energy efficiency tax credits of 30 percent, this can add up to a healthy return on the investment.
"The Environmental Protection Agency predicts the average American household will spend more than $1,900 on energy bills this year," says Aman Desouza, Director of Sustainability for CertainTeed Corporation. "Homeowners want to benefit from a home with a long-lasting and sustainable look, but also profit from the value it adds to the property. Making the home more energy-efficient can save money on utility bills, help with next year's tax return and create a more comfortable and environmentally friendly home."
Drawing from decades of experience insulating and roofing homes throughout the United States, CertainTeed offers the following tips and advice to homeowners who want to improve energy efficiency while taking advantage of the Federal Tax Credits:
Adding insulation to the attic, such as CertainTeed's InsulSafe® SP, is a fast and easy improvement that keeps utility bills down by blocking heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. The year-round savings eliminates worry and makes the home a more comfortable place.
Cool roofing technology is another simple and cost-effective way to lower energy consumption. CertainTeed's new Landmark Solaris™ shingles feature solar-reflective that reflect the sun's rays and reduce a roof's surface temperature. These innovative shingles offer the benefits of standard white cool roofs, but with increased aesthetic appeal offered by CertainTeed's variety of vibrant shingle colors.
To learn more about which CertainTeed roofing and insulation products can help homeowners qualify for the Federal Energy Tax Credits, visit www.certainteed.com/energytaxcredit. For CertainTeed windows, go to: http://www.miwd.com/miscPages/EnergyStarCredit.aspx.
While currently not included as a qualified improvement for tax credits, insulated siding is another key way of boosting a home's curb appeal and helping to reduce energy costs. CertainTeed offers CedarBoards™ Insulated Siding, featuring a natural, rough cedar texture and the look of wide-board wood siding, requires no painting, caulking or harsh chemicals, which contributes to the sustainability of any project and provides a low-maintenance exterior to the homeowner.
Through the responsible development of innovative and sustainable building products, CertainTeed has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, the firm's slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed® is North America's leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, windows, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, gypsum, ceilings and access covers.
Headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. In 2009, CertainTeed was named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a national award that recognizes environmentally responsible corporations. The group had total sales of more than $3 billion in 2008.