Santa Cruz Home Improvements that Qualify for Energy Tax Credits

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 at 1:01am.

With tax season in full swing, it’s time to start thinking about how you can save money on what you owe Uncle Sam this year. If you own a Santa Cruz home, there are a few things that may help you lower your tax debt in 2012. You can qualify for energy tax credits if you’ve made certain improvements in the last year.

Here are a few federal tax credits offered for installing energy efficient products in your house. If you did not make any changes in 2012, you may want to take a look at what you could do to lower your taxes next year! These credits expire December 31, 2016, so you have time to implement changes that could help both your tax return and your everyday energy usage.

To receive a tax credit of 30% of cost, with no upper limit, on your primary or secondary residence, consider one of the following options:
• Geothermal heat pumps: These are similar to regular heat pumps, except that they use the earth’s natural heat to provide heating, cooling, and in most cases, hot water. This is one of the most efficient heating and cooling technologies currently available.
 Small Wind Turbines (Residential):  Collects and converts wind energy to create electricity for use in the house.
• Solar Energy Systems: These can either be solar water heaters or solar panels. Both collect the sun’s energy for heating water and powering your Santa Cruz home.
• Fuel Cells (Residential Fuel Cells and a Microturbine System): This revolutionary hydrogen-based technology offers a cleaner, more efficient alternative to fossil fuels. However, this tax credit is only available for primary residences.

So, even if you didn’t make any of these property improvements this year, it’s not too late to think about conserving resources, and maybe even saving on your tax return.

If you’d like more information about how to make your Santa Cruz home more energy efficient, please call me at 831.662.6522 or email me at

For additional real estate information, please visit my home page at


Installing Energy Efficient Products:

Geothermal Heat Pumps: 

Solar Energy Systems:

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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