There are several ways to reduce your out of pocket expenses on energy and at the same time save tax money. The US government is offering a 10% credit for items that qualify including insulation systems, exterior windows, exterior doors, and metal roofs. In addition, there is a $50 credit for advanced main air circulating fan, $150 for each qualified natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler, and $300 for each item of qualified energy efficient property. The maximum credit for all taxable years is $500 with no more than $200 from window expenses.
This is a great opportunity for all of those fence sitters thinking of upgrading those old systems but short on cash. Uncle Sam will be kicking in for you to lower your energy bill and at the same time enhance the value of your property.

The part that I get excited about is the following. There is a solar panel, solar water heating and fuel cell credit. If these items have a generation efficiency of more than 30 percent and generate at least .5 kilowatts of electricity, taxpayers can be credited up to 30 percent of the investment up to a maximum of $2000. For the fuel cell system, the credit may not exceed $500 for each .5 kilowatt of capacity. Please note that the credit is not good for systems used to heat a pool or spa. This law is in effect from December 31, 2005 and before January 1, 2008.

I have not priced out the cost of these systems for the average household, but I am really interested to see what the cost savings will be. That will be step 2 of this project. If anybody has any experience with this topic, please feel free to comment. I will keep you informed as more information is obtained.