While most people know the positive effects that going green has on the environment, they do not often fully understand the extent of its impact. At Scana Energy, we encourage people to live a green life to enjoy environmental benefits plus the added economic and tax benefits.
Environmental Benefits of Going Green
Going green reduces the amount of pollution that enters the soil, water, and air. When you use alternative energy sources, recycle materials, and reduce waste, you release fewer pollutants. The result is fresh air and a healthier environment.
Most people dispose of unwanted, used, and consumed items without giving it much thought. But did you know that most of this refuse contains toxic chemicals? Careless disposal allows the chemicals to seep to the bottom of the soil and pollute groundwater.
The ripple effect is they contaminate the environment, our water supply, and the soil. Recycling, reusing, and properly disposing of unwanted products reduces the level of environmental pollution.
Most of the world’s energy comes from the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gasses. Reducing fossil fuel consumption and using eco-friendly energy sources helps take the strain off these resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
According to Planet Green, about 137 animals, insects, and plant species go extinct each day due to deforestation. Reducing your consumption of paper products and recycling what you do use helps slow down the rate of extinction.
Economic Benefits of Going Green
Going green has many benefits, such as helping the air stay cleaner and fresher. It also has economic benefits, which may seem elusive at first. But before long, you will start seeing the savings in your bank account.
Saves on utility bills
Going green requires little up-front cost, whether it is buying light bulbs or energy-efficient appliances or building water-conserving solutions. After the upgrade, you will be able to save on your energy and water bills.
Insulates your home
Insulating your home ensures your HVAC system doesn’t go into overdrive to keep your indoor conditions comfortable. And this reduces your energy cost.
Saves on recycled products
Although recycling used products is highly recommended, another way to save money is to reuse products and materials. The more you reuse and repurpose items in your home, the more you will save on buying new stuff.
Saves on healthcare
The more we recycle and go green, the cleaner and fresher the air we breathe becomes. A healthy environment means fewer diseases and fewer visits to the doctor.
Other than the huge savings on your household bills, going green creates more job opportunities. The Green Economy employs thousands of people and creates a win-win for environmentally conscious corporations.
Tax Benefits of Going Green
Tax is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about going green. But there are some significant tax benefits of going green. The U.S. government advocates for renewable energy and offers various tax incentives to residents and businesses that go green.
The residential energy-efficient property credit
Taxpayers who switch to using earth-friendly energy sources like a solar panel, fuel cell, or geothermal heat pump may be eligible for a tax credit that offsets some of the costs. This amount varies based on the date you placed the service in your home.
To qualify for this tax credit, you have to make energy-saving improvements on a U.S.-based home. You must own the house, but it doesn’t have to be your primary residence. Rentals do not count. This tax credit is valid through the end of 2021.
Nonbusiness energy property credit
If you made any eco-friendly energy-efficient upgrades to your home in 2019, you could still claim this energy property credit. You can request a tax credit of up to 10% of the amounts paid for eligible energy-efficient upgrades up to a lifetime cap of $500.
To claim this credit, you must install an energy-efficient system in your primary residence. Note that rental properties do not qualify for this credit, either.
Some of the equipment and projects that allow you to be eligible for this Energy Property Credit include:
Heating and cooling equipment
Heat conserving roof materials
Whole-house and attic fans
Whichever way you look at it, going green has economic, environmental, and tax benefits. Take advantage of the many U.S. government incentives to go green and create a cleaner, healthier, and sustainable environment.