Do Energy Efficiency Grants Actually Exist for Recreational Vehicles?
However, there is perhaps no group of people more interested in the environment than campers. Campers are also quite ingenious and have found ways to profit from grants that can be applied to recreational vehicles even though not aimed at that sector.
Energy efficient recreational vehicles are widely advertised today. They feature solar powered appliances, better gas mileage, and more efficient heating and cooling systems.
Many of the environmentally friendly campers and motor homes are built with recycled materials. There is also a new industry providing energy efficient products for a camping lifestyle whether you camp on the occasional weekend or live in your motor home year round.
A large motor home can easily cost $150,000 and quite a few retirees opt to live in such a home as they travel the country.
For them, the motor home is their primary residence and they can take advantage of energy efficient grants and tax write-offs for recreational vehicles by claiming those grants offered to homes that are a primary residence.
It's also possible to recoup the sales tax paid and improvements made to a recreational vehicle if it qualifies for a "second home" under the tax laws.
Under this designation you could install solar and other energy efficient systems in your motor home and quality for grants and tax savings to cover much of the expense.
Unintended Energy Efficient Grants
Sometimes energy efficient grants can be applied to recreational vehicles when agencies fail to be very specific in the grant terms and conditions. A few years ago, the golf cart manufacturers' sales were booming due to such a grant.
With the aim of promoting use of energy efficient appliances and systems, the government was offering huge tax savings for those who bought electric vehicles or made energy efficient improvements to their homes. The goal was to push the sales of electric or hybrid automobiles.
The wording of the grant allowed consumers to buy a golf cart rather than a traditional car or truck - and quality for the huge grant and tax write-off. The effect for a consumer was a free golf cart as the grant was higher than the cost of an electric golf cart.
One thing leads to another, of course, and a cottage industry was launched in customizing electric golf carts. Not surprisingly, the cost of the cart and the customization was only slightly more than the grant that would be paid by the government.
Golf carts are popular in the U.S. and not only for golfers. In subdivisions and especially in areas with large number of retirees, a golf cart is an inexpensive way to tool around the neighborhood.
Many retirement communities and large housing developments have groceries, dry cleaners, restaurants and other amenities located within the development. With an electric cart, a resident can run errands or visit friends easily and inexpensively.
The energy grants for recreational vehicles may have been accidental but the grants were well used. Four wheel all terrain vehicles were often subsidized by these grants as well as golf carts.
Buy a 4 wheel ATO with an attached cart - and the 4-wheeler qualified for a grant. Golf carts customized to display the owner's preference in colors and fabrics (sun shades) or their favorite sports team colors and logo became a common site in many community developments.
It was a bad joke for taxpayers, but the energy grants used for recreational vehicles continued for two years before anyone noticed how the grants were being claimed.
There were no reprisals for those who received the grants as there was no wrongdoing - only a poorly written energy efficient grant.