Wednesday, February 25, 2009

BREAKING INFO: What the stimulus will do for you

THURSDAY AM UPDATE: The New York Times reported this morning on how the stimulus package will also help state governments and people with low incomes --

At least $20 billion in the stimulus bill was earmarked for programs like improving the efficiency of government buildings and the homes of poor people, and trying to find better ways to save energy. That is far more, advocates say, than any bill in history. Within a few months, the money is likely to start landing in the bank accounts of thinly staffed state and city agencies that are accustomed to scraping for a dime here, a dollar there...

For advocates of [a program to weatherize low-income homes], “it’s like they finally got to the other side of the desert and it’s pouring rain,” said Seth Kaplan, a vice president of the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental group...

The stimulus package also contains $4.5 billion to modernize federal buildings and $2.5 billion for research into energy efficiency and renewable energy. The biggest chunk, $6.3 billion, will be distributed by the Energy Department in grants to state and local governments, which can spend the money on things as diverse as thicker window panes for state capitols and rebates for homeowners who change their light bulbs.

Additionally, the article quotes an interesting statistic that homes and commercial buildings make for 39 percent of the U.S.' energy consumption. With that figure to potentially be reduced to 20-30 percent through this energy efficiency measure, that is a huge money savings and offers significant positive impact for the planet in relatively short order, along with all the jobs potentially created in the process to process and install these measures.

ORIGINAL POST: The Alliance to Save Energy has just sent me a new link to how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) ... aka stimulus bill ... will help you, relating to energy efficiency and tax credits. Says ASE --

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) extends, expands, and simplifies the federal income tax credits for homeowners who make energy efficiency home improvements. The law extends the consumer tax benefits for another year, through 2010; triples the total available tax credit from $500 to $1,500; and increases the tax credit to 30 percent of the cost of each qualified energy efficiency improvement. The law also removes the cap on geothermal heat pumps and solar water heaters through 2016.

You can get all the details here.

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