May 23, 2012
Gordon Anderson (512) 475-4743
Texans encouraged to lower housing costs through Energy Star sales tax holiday
(AUSTIN) —Texans have an unusual opportunity to cash in not once, but twice on energy efficient products this Memorial Day weekend. Thanks to an Energy Star sales tax holiday May 26-28, Texans will not only pay less for items designed to use less energy, they will also enjoy the cost-saving benefits of lower utility bills. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) encourages all Texans to take advantage of the compounded savings and the benefits of keeping homes affordable.
"Energy Star appliances translate into lower housing costs," said Tim Irvine, TDHCA Executive Director. “The Energy Star sales tax holiday will help Texans save money by lowering the costs of energy efficient appliances as well as lowering their monthly energy costs.”
The Energy Star sales tax holiday applies to the following appliances and household equipment: air conditioners, but not heat pumps, priced less than $6,000, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, light bulbs, programmable thermostats, refrigerators priced less than $2,000 and clothes washers, but not clothes dryers.
To qualify for the sales tax exemption, the Energy Star logo must appear on the appliance, the packaging or the Energy Guide label. The tax break also applies to catalog or Internet sales of eligible products during Memorial Day weekend and to items placed on layaway or removed from layaway during that weekend.
|ENERGY STAR® Appliance Type||Energy Savings||Water Savings|
|Central Air Conditioners||14%|
|Room/Window Air Conditioners||10%|
|Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs||75%|
Home Weatherization Tips
TDHCA reminds everyone that there are additional ways to reduce household energy use, cut utility expenses, and keep homes affordable.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, some households who have weatherized their home have saved an average of $300 in annual utility costs while adding an estimated $1,000 to the value of their home.
Adding insulation and sealing cracks and spaces where air leaks may occur with caulking, spray foam or weather stripping will create a thermal barrier that can reduce home energy consumption by up to 30 percent. Duct sealing using a sealing agent, not duct tape, can account for an additional 20 percent energy savings.
Since about one-third of a typical home’s heat loss occurs around and through doors and windows, installing energy-efficient doors and windows are always a good energy saving investment. An inexpensive alternative is to install door sweeps at the bottom of external doors, and caulk any cracks around the windows to prevent air leaks.
Certain landscape practices can modify the weather’s impact on home environments. By strategically placing trees, shrubs, and other landscape structures to block the wind and provide shade, residents can reduce the energy needed to keep their homes comfortable during heating and cooling seasons.
“High energy costs significantly influence housing affordability for everyone,” said Irvine. “Combining both the use of Energy Star products and implementing simple and inexpensive energy saving measures can mean significant savings for households of all incomes and a healthier environment for all of us.”
Read more energy saving tips from TDHCA.
For details on the Energy Star sales tax holiday visit www.texaspowerfulsmart.com.
TDHCA’s energy assistance programs help low-income Texas households keep their homes affordable through utility bill payment support and home weatherization services not associated with the Energy Star sales tax holiday. For more information on TDHCA’s energy assistance programs call 1-800-525-0657.
About the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs administers a number of state and federal programs through for-profit, nonprofit, and local government partnerships to strengthen communities through affordable housing development, homeownership opportunities, weatherization, and community-based services for Texans in need.
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