Reeling at the thought of paying your heating bills this winter? If you are among the many New Englanders who rely on liquid heating oil, you're facing record high prices. If you stay warm with natural gas or electricity, you still don't have it much easier, particularly given the depressed housing market and stagnation in actual consumer wealth.
While it may be tempting to start secretly cheering on global warming, Al Gore be damned, there are better options. You don't have to beat yourself up too much for not taking that job offer in Phoenix.
Although Uncle Sam is still horribly addicted to fossil fuels (and Simon Slade isn't the only one who thinks we need big changes), at least big government has heard your pain. The 2005 Energy Policy Act includes a woefully under appreciated, little known program offering a tax credit to people making specific energy-efficient upgrades to their homes, as reported by today's Chicago Tribune. That way, you'll save a considerable amount of money on your utilities over time, as well as result in lowered energy use. That means cleaner air and less greenhouse gases.
What's included? Everything from adding insulation to weatherproofing your doors and windows and upgrading to energy-efficient appliances. But beware, these valuable tax credits are set to expire in December, so you must act quickly. The improvements must be completed by the end of the calendar year to qualify. When you file your taxes, fill out IRS form 5695.
What's covered? The following items, per the Alliance to Save Energy:
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