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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, Oct. 19, 2007
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201

Home improvement tax credits expire at year's end

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission wants homeowners to take advantage of energy-efficient home improvements before federal tax credits expire on Dec. 31, 2007.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established tax credits for many types of home improvements including adding insulation, replacement windows and certain high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. Qualifying improvements made between Jan. 1, 2006, and Dec. 31, 2007, may be eligible for up to $500 in tax credits for homeowners.

"I can't emphasize enough what a great opportunity this is for homeowners," said PUC Chairman Dusty Johnson. "An energy-efficient water heater can qualify for a $300 tax credit and a credit of up to $200 can be earned for ENERGY STAR windows," he continued.

"I hope folks will join me in purchasing insulation to prepare our homes for the cold winter weather," said PUC Vice Chairman Gary Hanson. "Once installed, these purchases may qualify for a 10 percent tax credit and then people will save money on both the insulation and their utility bills," he pointed out.

"The fact that this incentive is a tax credit, rather than a tax deduction, makes it all the more valuable," PUC Commissioner Steve Kolbeck explained. "A tax credit reduces the tax a homeowner would pay dollar-for-dollar, whereas a deduction only reduces your taxable income by a specific percentage."

Tax incentives are also available for new home builders and commercial building owners. Consumers and business owners should consult their tax professional before making any investments for tax credit purposes.

PUC commissioners urge homeowners to invest their tax credit savings in additional energy-efficient home improvements. There are a variety of low-cost improvements that will help reduce the amount of energy used. Such options include replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent lights, sealing air leaks around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulk, and adding an insulation wrap to an older water heater.

South Dakotans interested in these tax credits should visit for more information.