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Energy Audit Programs & Tax Incentives for Energy Efficient Homes

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After reading several posts recently I’ve come across some information about Energy Audit Programs, and the new 2011 energy-efficient tax incentives. There are several companies in Texas that can come into your home and perform a complete Energy Audit either on a home you’re in the process of building, or your existing home. The audit could come in handy when thinking about qualifying for the tax breaks. Considering that to be eligible for the tax credit in Texas, a new home must be 50 percent more energy-efficient than code according to the Texas Home Energy Rating Organization or Texas HERO.

Many states across the U.S. are now utilizing their state’s Energy Audit programs. For example Washington state have produced more than 1,000 home energy audits and are continuing at a high rate. So far initial data is showing to be very effective post-audit, paired with cash incentives for participating homeowners have been key factors in the 50% uptake rate in Washington state.

The Texas Home Energy Rating Organization (Texas HERO) is a non-profit, membership organization that exists to educate the public and the home energy rating profession; provide a forum for home energy rating industry cooperation on best practices, ethical standards and policy goals; and promote the benefits of energy conservation initiatives and incentives to homeowners, home builders and businesses. Their program consists of independent energy management professionals that are located throughout Texas.

They provide four types of rating services such as:
HERS® Rating

A home energy rating is a standard measurement of a home’s energy efficiency. A national standard-setting organization, RESNET, credits Home Energy Rating System (HERS) providers to certify and oversee the work quality of individuals who pass a national qualifying exam to become Raters. The home energy rater inspects a home and measures its energy characteristics, such as insulation levels, window efficiency, window-to-wall ratios, the heating and cooling system efficiency, and the solar orientation of the home; conducts performance tests to find air leakage; and completes a computer analysis to estimate energy use and a standardized HERS Index that makes energy use information easy to compare.
ENERGY STAR© Qualified New Home Certification & High Performance Program Verifications

Texas HERO members can provide the guidance and perform the testing and inspections required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to have a home ENERGY STAR© certified. These homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2004 International Residential Code (IRC), and include additional energy-saving features that may make them 20–30% more efficient than standard homes.

Member Raters also provide trusted third party verification services for various other above-code and high performance initiatives like Department of Energy’s Builders Challenge, Green Built Texas, and others.
Existing Home Energy Audits

Texas HERO has developed a Technical Standard for comprehensive home energy audits in existing homes and has begun to certify Raters to deliver a Texas Home Energy Audit that meets this standard. The Texas HERO standard and auditor certification have been recognized by RESNET[1][2] as leading efforts in improving home energy performance.
A home energy audit can help a homeowner or homebuyer in various ways, such as:

Understand the critical factors in a home that contribute to inefficiencies and excessive energy use
Identify low cost and no-cost strategies to reduce energy use as well as a more comprehensive analysis and recommendation of other cost-effective improvements
Qualify a home for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM), Energy Efficiency Improvement (EEI) loan or other possible incentives
Identify an energy-efficient home that will be comfortable and cost less to live in.

Some lenders recognize rated homes for special financing options. A Texas HERO-certified Home Energy Auditor is trained to perform comprehensive home energy audits and help homeowners understand their energy saving opportunities.
Custom Energy Inspections

Custom energy inspections can also be designed for a homeowner, builder, or prospective homebuyer. Please contact a home energy rater in your area for additional details.

The tax incentives for energy efficient homes in 2011 are:

Consumer purchase of energy-saving products. While restrictions exist that lower the credit to pre-economic recovery act levels, extended tax credits cover window incentives (up to $200), oil and gas furnace and boiler incentives to 95 percent efficiency (from $150-$200) and water heater and wood heating system incentives (up to $300).
Manufacturer installation of energy-efficient appliances. A manufacturers’ credit exists for highly efficient appliances designed to save energy in new or existing homes (i.e., those with greater efficiency than today’s average appliances).

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Areas in Texas We Service:

Westlake, Barton Creek, Rollingwood, Austin, Round Rock, Dripping Springs, Lakeway, Lake Travis, Horseshoe Bay, Wimberly, Boerne, San Antonio, Georgetown, Tarrytown, and Marble Falls

Remodeled Homes

Services and Products We Provide:

Custom Home Builders, Home Builders, Luxury Custom Homes, Luxury Builders, Luxury Estates, and Custom Construction. 

Masters Touch Custom Homes

317 Ranch Road 620 S #101,

Lakeway, TX 78734

Phone. 5129995591

Email. matt@mastersTCH.com