Homebuilders get the “green” light for getting extra energy efficiency into their homes starting July 1 with the resumption of a state tax credit.
Thinking of it as a light switch being flipped on isn't too far of a stretch. The credit was among numerous tax breaks suspended for two years in 2010, and it was missed, according to builders and others advocating for the continued “greening” of the state's housing stock.
“We really saw the quality of some homes drop off when the credit went into moratorium,” said Andrea Palmer, national program coordinator for Oklahoma City's Guaranteed Watt Saver, a third-party “green” construction inspection company. GWS specializes in energy efficiency engineering and building science consulting.
The credit gives builders extra incentive to improve the energy efficiency and building performance of houses, townhouses and duplexes, said Todd Booze, vice president-secretary of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association and president of construction for Ideal Homes of Norman.
The credit is dollar for dollar for certain expenditures in the construction of houses 2,000 square feet or less or manufactured homes, according to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.
Eligible expenditures include the cost of energy-efficient heating or cooling systems, improved insulation, energy-conserving windows and doors and certain metal roofs coated with materials to reduce heat gain, the commission said. Eligible properties must have energy efficiency gauged and certified on site by an accredited home rater.