These days, many homeowners are looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient not only to reduce their energy bills but to also reduce negative impacts on the environment. To do this, many have opted to upgrade their existing homes or build a new energy efficient home from scratch. These green homes are often referred to as Net Zero homes.
What is a Net Zero Home?
A Net Zero home is a type of home that is grid-tied. This means the home produces as much renewable energy as it consumes on a yearly basis. Homeowners who build a Net Zero home experience a dramatic reduction in their energy bills, and in some cases even see a net of zero each year. Plus, a Net Zero home means living a home free of carbon as well as less pollution both inside and out.
These homes combine superior building systems with energy efficient materials like solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling systems. The benefits of building a Net Zero home are impressive. From being more affordable and comfortable to their low-maintenance durability, Net Zero homes are a smart choice for homeowners.
Tax Credits and Other Financial Incentives for Net Zero Homes
While Net Zero homes cost less to own, they do require a bigger financial investment up front. The good news is, you'll start to see a great return on investment (ROI) from the very first energy bill. Many utility agencies, as well as the federal government, also offer financial incentives to help recoup the initial cost of a Net Zero energy efficient home. Here's what to know about receiving tax credits for a Net Zero home.
Energy Star provides a Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit up to 30% for all homeowners. Originally, this tax credit was set to expire on December 31, 2016, but was renewed until December 31, 2021 under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. This tax credit covers a range of energy efficient systems including solar electric systems and solar thermal hot water systems.
Another place to check for renewable energy incentives is with your local utility company. Many electric and gas companies offer rebates for making energy efficient upgrades to your home. Whether replacing regular lightbulbs with LEDs or upgrading your existing water heater to a more sustainable model, even a small rebate is helpful in recovering the initial costs.
To find out more about Net Zero tax credits offered in your area, visit the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) website. Just enter your zip code to see what financial incentives are available for you. You may be surprised by the sheer number of tax incentives, grants, and loan programs that are part of the DSIRE database!
There are also a couple of important things to note about renewable energy incentives. First, incentives can change over time, so always verify you have the most current information possible. Next, some incentives will go to the homebuyer whereas some incentives go directly to the homebuilder. With that in mind, always read the terms of the financial incentive carefully.
Considering building a custom home or planning a renovation in the St. Louis area? Our team at Hibbs Homes would love to help! As a green home builder, we provide our clients with a one-of-a-kind experience as we help them design and build a more sustainable home. With our ComfortBuilt and Net Zero options, many of our clients are able to build much bigger homes, while costing them less to operate each month than their existing homes. Ready to get started? Contact our team to learn more.