It's the time of year for home improvement projects

If you plan to fix up your place, be sure consider energy efficiency when you buy materials and appliances.

Yes, you may pay a bit more for something that meets ENERGY Star standards, but as MacKenzie McDowell with Puget Sound Energy reminds us - it's important to consider the big picture.

'It may be more expensive up front to get an Energy Star rated washing machine, but in the long-run it does save you money on your energy bill and may also save you money on your water bill."

Make certain home improvements by the end of the year and you may qualify for energy-saving tax credits.

The editors at Consumer Reports say you may be able to get a tax credit if you install certain doors, windows and skylights, a qualifying roof, insulation, or an energy-efficient furnace or water heater.

Some of these tax credits are hundreds of dollars. And remember, you may also be able to get a rebate from your local utilities.

More Information:
Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency