CHICAGO, IL- February 21, 2013 – Around this time of year homeowners begin planning home
improvement projects for spring and summer. When planning these renovations it
is important to be aware of tax credits being offered by the Federal Government
on products that increase home energy efficiency. The Better Business Bureau
serving Chicago and Northern Illinois (BBB) offers some tips for money-saving
The American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes several tax and expanded credits that
homeowners use while increasing the energy efficiency of their home. Some
qualifying improvements include work that many homeowners must undertake, such
as installing a new roof. However, other qualifying improvements are more
involved, such as installing a wind or solar energy system.
“There are many opportunities to save
money when making home improvements. Taking advantage of tax credits is a great
option,” said Steve Bernas president and CEO of the Better
Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois.
“By doing research you can find the best way to help
the environment and your wallet while improving your home.”
To qualify for tax credits, 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. A full list of qualifying home
improvements is available online at: www.energystar.gov/taxcredits.
The BBB offers the following advice for
homeowners on looking for a contractor they can trust to help make their house
- Always check the company or
contractor out with BBB first. BBB Reliability Reports are available
online for free at www.bbb.org and will
tell the homeowner if the business has a good rating and is accredited by
- Homeowners should get several
estimates for projects and remember that they do not have to use any
specific contractor in order to take advantage of the tax credits.
- Before making any
improvements, visit www.energystar.gov
to confirm that the products being used are eligible for the tax credit.
Also consider consulting the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov
or a tax professional.
For more advice on finding businesses and services you can
trust, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose
of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help
resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and
arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and
charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reviews on businesses and nonprofit
organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before
making a purchase or donation.