Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

8 of 10
BACKNEXT
High-tech green
Advanced technology in renewable energy takes home improvement to another level. These systems often don't pay for themselves quickly. To create incentives for interested homeowners, the federal government is sweetening the deal. The tax credit will cover 30 percent of the cost, including installation, with no upper limit. In most cases, the window for the tax credit has been extended to 2016.

Eligible systems include solar water heaters, solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, and wind energy systems. Tom Silva's seizing the opportunity and putting in solar panels and a solar water heater this year. He said the tax credit is an offer his family couldn't refuse.

"My wife read about it and said, 'We've been talking about doing [solar upgrades] long enough. Let's just do it.' People worry about the money you have to put out up front, but you're getting big-ticket items like solar panels for a third less and you will save money on your energy bill forever," Silva says--not to mention the boost it gives to the value of the house.

NEXT: First, get an energy audit

Last updated May 07 2009: 12:57 PM ET
More Galleries
Super Bowl bound? Things to do in Houston besides the big game If you're one of the thousands of fans are headed to Houston for the Super Bowl Sunday, here are five things to do when you're not at the stadium. More
Sneak peek at Super Bowl 51 ads The ghost of Spuds MacKenzie and an ad about immigration steal the show in the swell of upcoming Super Bowl ads. Advertisers are paying, on average, $5 million for 30-second spots during Sunday's game on Fox. But if you want to watch something other than commercials, the New England Patriots happen to be playing the Atlanta Falcons. More
Most expensive cars from the Scottsdale collector car auctions The ten most expensive cars sold at the annual Arizona collector auctions went or a total of $44 million. More

Special Offer