Invest Your Tax Refund in Efficiency

It’s tax time! Some of us will be receiving a refund this year and wondering what to do with the money. Why not maximize the use of those dollars with a new, energy efficient appliance or heating system you’ve been wanting or needing, and utilize GCEA rebates, State of Colorado tax credits and exemptions, and the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax incentives and rebates to offset the cost of your purchase? The energy savings you’ll realize from replacing an older, inefficient appliance with a new one means that your purchase can have a very short payback. All the items listed below have eligibility requirements so be sure to click on the links to find more information about qualifying for the tax incentives and rebates. Here are a few ideas and data to help you make an informed decision on your purchase.

 

  • Electric outdoor power equipment uses electricity instead of gas to power the equipment, leading to quieter operation and fewer emissions when in use. GCEA offers rebates for a multitude of electric power tools such as chainsaws, snowblowers, lawnmowers, e-bikes, and trimmers in varying amounts depending on the tool and purchase price. Who wouldn’t like a new electric snowblower this winter?
  • Smart thermostats can help you save money by controlling the temperature in your home more accurately and remotely, so you can make changes and monitor your heating system to control your costs better, and GCEA offers a smart thermostat rebate for our members.
  • Induction cooktops save energy by generating electromagnetic energy and transferring the energy directly to the cookware itself, which makes compatible cookware hot enough to cook food - 90% of the heat made by induction reaches food, compared to 65 to 70% for electric ranges and 40 to 55% for gas stoves. The IRA and GCEA offer rebates for induction stoves.
  • Energy Star appliances such as clothes dryers, and clothes washers, and refrigerators can save you money through reduced electrical and water usage. The IRA and GCEA offers rebates for Energy Star appliances.
  • Electric vehicles and electric vehicle chargers use electricity to run and to power EVs, and since electricity can be generated from renewable sources, there are less emissions produced to power EVs, leading to cleaner air and a zero-emissions tailpipe experience for 100% electric vehicles. The IRA offers a tax credit for new and previously-owned EVs for income-qualified households and GCEA offers a rebate. Be sure to view the requirements for the tax credit here and consult with your tax advisor to apply for the credit.
  • Heat pump water heaters use just one-fifth of the energy compared to a traditional electric water heater. They extract heat from the air, condenses it, then transfers the heat to the water which saves energy because the water heater is not producing. These water heaters have space requirements and will not fit in all spaces. The IRA and GCEA offer rebates and The State of Colorado also allows an income tax credit for the purchase prices of the water heater and a sales and use tax exemption.
  • Air source heat pumps typically use half the energy of an electric baseboard or propane heating system. Like a heat pump water heater, air source heat pumps extract heat from the air and transfers the heat to another location, in this case to a room in a home or business. The IRA offers rebates for income-qualified households and a tax credit for all households which includes electrical system upgrades, and GCEA offers a rebate as well. Like heat pump water heaters, The State of Colorado also allows an income tax credit for the purchase prices of the system and a sales and use tax exemption.
  • LEDs (light-emitting diodes) use 90% less energy than incandescent light bulbs, saving you money on the lighting portion of your energy bill. GCEA offers rebates for LED light bulbs and fixtures with LEDs built-in.

 

These are just a few ideas of many to help you spend your hard-earned tax dollars on energy efficient items that will reduce energy costs and increase your enjoyment of your home while reducing carbon emissions and impacts on the environment. Contact Alantha Garrison, Energy Use Advisor at 970-641-3520 for more information.