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5 tips for tapping energy credits

Get tax savings for home improvements

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So you're slaving away on that tax form that's due April 15, and you're wishing you had done something -- anything -- in 2009 that could have eased the financial pain inflicted by your Form 1040. Sorry, can't help you there. But there's a rather long list of home improvements you could make in 2010 that not only have the potential to reduce your monthly utility bills -- they also could put a dent in your taxes. They are tax credits that homeowners can get through a federal stimulus package passed last year. In particular, the Existing Home Retrofit Tax Credit covers an array of energy-saving fix-ups -- from installing certain kinds of windows to powering your house with a windmill -- that qualify for a credit, according to Calli Schmidt, environmental communications director for the National Association of Home Builders. The tax credit for many of the energy-saving changes could be good for as much as $1,500, she said. If you want to upgrade your heating or cooling or ...