ABC7 On Your Side: Energy incentives

A home built in Hollywood in 1912 recently got a major upgrade. The old water heater was replaced with a new tankless one loaded with advantages.

"There are a lot of people that will run into a problem where the shower goes cold on them half way through. With the tankless you have the freedom of taking the longest shower you want and you can have a load of laundry at the same time," said Mike Ross, Payless Water Heaters.

"It's a lot smaller in size. It is space saving. It's gonna save people 30 to 50 percent in their gas bills. So their return on investment is a lot better compare to a tank. It is going to last twice as long," said James Facer, Noritz.

The only downside has been that tankless water heaters cost more than traditional ones. But now you can get a break on the cost with tax credits through the president's new stimulus package.

Pablo Mathiason is one homeowner who is taking advantage of those credits by making energy efficient home improvements at his place.

"We changed things out when we remodeled. We changed the refrigerator, washer and dryer for better efficiency," said Mathiason.

Andy is changing his water heater as well.

"I need a new water heater. I did a lot of investigating to replace it. I wanted to do something that was going to be a little bit more environmentally friendly. Sometimes it costs a little bit more to be environmentally friendly, but every little bit counts," said Mathiason.

Anyone who increases the energy efficiency of their primary residence in 2009 and 2010 are entitled to a tax credit up to $1,500 per improvement. And it's not just water heaters that qualify for the credit.

Examples of what qualifies:

  • Energy-efficient doors and windows
  • Insulation and roofs
  • Air Conditioners
  • Furnaces
  • Heat pumps
  • Water heaters
"I think it is fantastic. I think it is fabulous that they are trying to motivate people to spend a little extra by giving a little bit more," said Mathiason.

But in order to get the tax credits you must have the proper documentation including any Energy Star labels. Also, you need to save the manufacturer certification statements.

And don't forget to save a copy of your receipt too. Also, the gas company and Southern California Edison are offering rebates for some of these changes, so check with them for what you're entitled to.



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