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February 2009 - [Sustainable Concepts] Soy Seal and Federal Tax Credits
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Sustainable Concepts )
Design Forward Newsletter February 2009, vol. 71
in this issue
  • New Federal Energy Tax Credits
  • Soy Seal
  • Seminar on May 30: Building Green
  • Feedback
  •         

    Greetings!

    Welcome to the February 2009 newsletter from Design Forward. Please take some time to enjoy this month's features.

    Quote of the Month: "I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend? "
    -Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985


    Lisa A. Swan

    New Federal Energy Tax Credits

    On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed a stimulus bill (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that made some significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits. The highlights are:

    • The tax credits that were previously effective for 2009, have been extended to 2010 as well.
    • The tax credit has been raised from 10% to 30%.
    • The tax credits that were for a specific dollar amount (ex $300 for a CAC), have been converted to 30% of the cost.
    • The maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1500 for the two years (2009-2010). However, some improvements such as geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and solar panels are not subject to the $1,500 maximum.
    • The $200 cap on windows has been removed.

    Tax Credits for Consumers:
    Home Improvements
    Tax credits are now available for home improvements:

    • must be "placed in service" from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010
    • must be for taxpayers principal residence
    • maximum amount is $1,500 in 2009 & 2010 for most home improvements (geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, fuel cells, and windmills are not subject to this cap)
    • for record keeping, save your receipts and the Manufacturer Certification Statement, OR for windows, you can save the ENERGY STAR label from your new windows
    • improvements made in 2009 will be claimed on your 2009 taxes (filed by April 15, 2010) - use IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) - it will be available late 2009 or early 2010
    • If you are building a new home, you can qualify for the tax credit for photovoltaics, solar water heaters, small wind systems and fuel cells, but not the tax credits for windows, doors, insulation, roofs, HVAC, or non-solar water heaters. More.

    Tax Deductions for Commercial Buildings:
    A tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot is available to owners or designers of new or existing commercial buildings that save at least 50% of the heating and cooling energy of a building that meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001. Partial deductions of up to $.60 per square foot can be taken for measures affecting any one of three building systems: the building envelope, lighting, or heating and cooling systems. These tax deductions are available for systems "placed in service" from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2013.

    Comment on "New Federal Energy Tax Credits" on Lisa's Blog.

    Soy Seal

    Spray polyurethane foam insulation is an incredible breakthrough in insulation for our homes, but one of the downsides is the requirement for a certified dealer and installer.
    However, BioBased Insulation has recently introduced a soy based natural sealer that is based on the same technology - in a can.

    Soy Seal bio-based insulating foam sealant is spray applied and expands to:
    Seal leaks
    Save energy
    Stop moisture
    Increase comfort
    Decrease carbon emissions
    Reduce heating & cooling costs-naturally

    Soy Seal for Gaps & Cracks can be used to seal around pipe penetrations, floor vents and more. Soy Seal for Windows & Doors is specially formulated to repel water, and it won't bow windows or doors.
    Made from renewable, natural oils, Soy Seal exceeds the USDA bio- based standards and meets the stringent indoor air quality certification, GREENGUARD for Children and Schools.

    Comment on this "Soy Seal" on Lisa's Blog

    Seminar on May 30: Building Green

    Seminar: Building Green: Making Your Home More Energy Efficient

    Join Design Forward's Lisa Swan in Glendale on May 30, 2009 for a Building Green seminar for home owners.

    Class Description: Whether you are interested in a new house, remodeling your existing home, or just adding a few sustainable features, this innovative class will give you an in depth review of green building and sustainable architecture. Learn about solar and wind energy, wall systems such as straw bale, insulated concrete forms and foam insulation, natural and recycled materials, efficient windows and appliances, and more. Also learn how you can save money through State and local rebates.
    Reference Class: SI011

    Instructor: Lisa Swan is the owner of Design Forward, a residential design firm, specializing in sustainable and green projects. She is an Honors' graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology, with a Bachelor of Architecture and has an MBA from Norwich University.

    Date & Time: May 30, 2009 9:30am - 12:30am

    Cost: $35, plus $10 materials fee is payable to the instructor in class.

    Location: Glendale, CA - Garfield Campus of the Glendale Community College

    Register Begins March 1, 2009: http://www.glendale.edu/cse

    Comment on this article on Lisa's Blog

    Feedback

    Design Forward works toward promoting Sustainable Design. If you know of a project that should be featured, please contact us. Let us know why you think it should be featured and give us a basic intro to the project, the sustainable elements and any websites or contact information.

    If you would like to submit a fun and/or entertaining quote about architecture, building, the environment or such, send it in! If it at all possible, include the author.

    If you have any other feedback concerning this publication, please feel free to send an email or use the form.

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    phone: 626.796.2566

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    Revised June 1, 2010