The Government Credit Card

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I always thought that death and taxes were the only two absolutes. Apparently, especially if you own a home, water and power are fairly close to the top of the absolutes list. I guess this is true unless you use candles, live near a river or a place where it rains regularly.
Currently, if you live in California, we have a water shortage. We also, especially in Southern California, have many more days of sun that we do rain. Dah, that’s why we have a water shortage! So, what can you do to helpĀ  yourself while helping us all?
First of all, talk to your local solar company. It seems that in some cases, the cost (investment) of putting in solar panels is no more than your power bill. This is partly because of the 30% tax credit provided. Yes, a tax credit. What’s the difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction? I’m glad you asked. A tax credit means that your tax bill is reduced dollar for dollar by the tax credit. So, if the solar system costs $20,000 and the tax credit is $6000, your tax bill, of let’s say $10,000 is now $4,000. It’s CASH! Make the call and check to see if this works for you. You might just find that it saves you a small fortune.
Secondly, your lawn. This water-sucking piece of landscape probably accounts for 20-50% of your water bill. Get rid of it. In addition to saving you money on your gardeners (sorry gardeners) it will dramatically lower your water bill. Oh, and by the way, because California has so much money laying around (NOT) they will pay for most or all of the work. There are companies available that all but guarantee that it will cost you nothing (net) to get it done. There are limitations of course. You have to be replacing grass, not dirt, you can replace it with fake grass or desert landscape, pictures have to be submitted of the before and after and you get about $3-4 per square foot. Some of the companies will finance the job at zero interest, so you’re not out of pocket (other than monthly payments) while waiting for your rebate.
All told, the above could save you thousands of dollars per year. Whether it works for you depends on a number of variables but it’s certainly worth checking out, don’t you think?
Let me know if you need referrals. Don’t simply pick people out of a Google search.

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