Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

Yesterday I desperately wanted to post, but cleaning had to happen. Late in the day I wanted to post, but an end-of-the-year volleyball party happened. When I got home I wanted to post, but zzzzzzz happened. Today I’m posting about something that I strongly believe in. Tomorrow I’ll be back to posting ridiculous stories about my kids.

On the spur of the moment I tagged on to the end of a conference call about solar energy. My first thought was that my daughter had made and tested a solar oven for her 4th grae science projects. In fact, over the years we’ve done a few science fair projects that were timely and interesting. But, back to the conference call…

Bonneville_Energy has created a website for measuring your carbon footprint. What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint? You can go to the website and find out what tax credits are available for you in your state.

From the website, my county offers a Residential Solar and Geothermal Property Tax Credit:

In accordance with Maryland Property Tax Code ยง 9-203, Howard County allows a
property tax credit for certain renewable energy devices. Real property owners may receive a property tax credit against the county property tax imposed on a residential structure that uses a solar or geothermal energy device. The amount of the tax credit is 50% of the eligible costs up to $5,000 for a photovoltaic (PV) or heating system (geothermal or solar), and $1,500 for a hot water supply system. All equipment must meet safety and performance standards set by a nationally recognized laboratory for that kind of device. The amount of credit applied in a tax year may not exceed the amount of property tax imposed for that year, but any amount not taken may be carried over for an additional two years. During a fiscal year, the total amount of all tax credits granted in the county is limited to $250,000. Eligible applicants should submit their applications on or before April 1 prior to the taxable year for which the credit is sought. Work must be completed in the 12 months prior to an application in order to be eligible for the tax credit. The program webpage listed at the top of this page contains the application for the credit. This local option tax incentive is unique because it is applied in the form of a credit — not an exemption or exclusion, as in the case of most other property tax programs.

When we bought our house back in 1994, our house was considered an energy efficient house. We have the certificate to prove it! Our house had a higher level of insulation in the walls and other features. We’re not ready to invest in anything as extravagant as solar panels because we have things like sports activities for the kids and college tuition looming in the not-to-distant future.

Solar energy does make me think about how I can reduce my carbon footprint. How will you reduce yours?

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