Green Energy Conservation
With billions in stimulus money being released by the Federal Government for green energy programs, millions of Americans are considering home improvements that will save energy and give them tax credits of up to $1,500. To avoid being victimized by scammers who are trying to cash in on this, homeowners should keep the following in mind.
- Not all improvements qualify for tax credits. Those that do qualify are listed on www.energystar.gov/taxcredits.
- Do not accept any offer to file the “necessary paperwork” for a fee. You can easily do it yourself.
- Ignore any e-mail from the U.S. Department of Energy promising a refund. And don’t open its attachment, which could unleash malware in your computer.
- Don’t let any people into your home to do energy audits or make energy-saving repairs. Scammers often pose as local utility company employees to do this. In taking advantage of legitimate rebate programs, call the company first to set a time for an employee come to your home.
- Don’t fall for high-pressure sales pitches for energy-saving devices. They don’t work.
- Beware of unscrupulous contractors. See the separate section above on ways to avoid their scams.