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Do your utility bills look more like mortgage payments some months? If your gas and electric bills keep growing, it’s time to consider updating your home’s energy efficiency. Replacing windows, a refrigerator or freezer, the water heater, or an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) unit can greatly reduce utility bills, and at far less cost than you expect.

A wide range of tax rebates for energy efficient improvements are available from the state and federal government. Buy a new water heater to replace your old gas one, and you can qualify for up to $1,875 in tax rebates. Install a small wind turbine and you can qualify for up to $12,500.

The federal government offers resident homeowners a 30% tax credit, limited to $1,500, for installation of several energy improvements, including:

  • biomass stove;
  • insulation;
  • roofs;
  • water heaters;
  • HVAC systems; and
  • windows and doors.

The federal government also offers a 30% tax credit with no limit, if homeowners make one of the following energy improvements to their home:

  • geothermal heat pump system;
  • solar panels/energy system; and
  • small wind turbines.

You can also cash in on California’s energy efficient appliances rebate program as an opportunity for upgrading your home and reducing your energy costs. The rebates when purchasing ENERGY STAR approved appliances, including:

  • $50 for room air conditioners;
  • $100 for clothes washers;
  • $200 for refrigerators;
  • $50 for freezers;
  • $100 for dishwashers;
  • $100 to $750 for water heaters; and
  • $200 to $1,000 for HVAC systems.

For more information on how to apply for the rebates, visit