16 Dec

Deciphering the Tax Credits

first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Members The energy-efficiency tax credits and renewable-energy tax credits are better than tax deductions. The allowable credits aren’t just deductible expenses; they represent dollars subtracted directly from your tax bill. While the tax credit program includes illogical rules, the available tax credits can be significant.If you want to claim a tax credit on your 2009 income tax return for energy-efficiency improvements to your home, you should get the improvements installed before the end of the year. There’s really no need to rush, however, since the tax credits will remain available until the end of 2010 — or, in some cases, 2016. Energy-Efficiency CreditsThe energy-efficiency tax credits are available for air-sealing products, insulation, HVAC equipment, water heaters, windows, doors, and roofing. These tax credits were established on February 17, 2009 by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — President Obama’s stimulus bill.The following rules apply to the energy-efficiency tax credits:No tax credits are available for energy-efficiency improvements made in 2008. An earlier tax credit program (with different criteria) was available in 2006 and 2007; tax credits received for improvements in 2006 and 2007 are not counted towards the $1,500 limit on tax credits for 2009 and 2010 improvements.Renewable-Energy CreditsThe renewable-energy tax credits — credits for solar hot water systems, solar electric systems, ground-source heat pumps, wind turbines, and fuel cells — are separate from the energy-efficiency tax credits, and have different rules:The Most Bang For Your BuckIf you’re interested in making your home more energy efficient, and maybe claiming a tax credit while you’re at it, where should you start?For most homeowners, the first step should be a home energy audit. Ideally, this audit should be performed by an experienced RESNET-certified or BPI-certified home performance auditor equipped with a blower door. Unfortunately, no federal tax credits are available to cover any portion of the cost… center_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log inlast_img read more

3 Dec

180 relief camps in flood-hit Tripura

first_imgTripura government has set up 180 relief camps to accommodate thousands of flood-affected people in the state. Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Wednesday made an aerial survey in north Tripura to take stock of the situation.Mr. Deb also visited Kailashahar in Unakoti district, the worst hit in the current floods. Numerous areas in Khowai, Dhalai and South Tripura districts were also submerged, rendering people homeless.Three people died and several injured over the past two days owing to incessant rains and landslides. The Chief Minister announced ex-gratia payment for the kin of the deceased.Officials said 6,054 families from submerged areas of the state were housed in the camps. “The state government has opened 180 relief camps in seven districts of Unakoti, North Tripura, Dhalai, Khowai, West Tripura, Gomati and South Tripura,” Sanjay Kumar Mishra, Officer on Special Duty to the Chief Minister, told The Hindu.last_img read more

1 Dec

Meghalaya-based insurgent group HNLC banned by government

first_imgMeghalaya-based insurgent group Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has been banned by the Central government for its increased activities of violence and other subversive acts. In a notification, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the HNLC, along with all its factions, wings and frontal organisations, has been openly declaring as its objective the secession of the State’s areas, which are largely inhabited by Khasi and Jaintia tribals, from the Indian Union. The group continues to intimidate and bully civilians to extort funds, maintains links with other insurgent groups of the Northeast to carry out acts of extortion and intimidation, and maintains camps in Bangladesh to give sanctuary and training to its cadre, it said. The Central government is also of the opinion that HNLC’s activities are detrimental to the sovereignty and integrity of India. If these are not immediately curbed and controlled, the HNLC will regroup and rearm itself, expand its cadre base, procure sophisticated weapons, cause loss of lives of civilians and security forces, and accelerate its anti-national activities, the MHA said. “Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), (hereinafter referred to as the said Act), the Central government hereby declares the HNLC, along with all its factions, wings and front organisations, as unlawful association,” the notification said. The Ministry also listed the violence perpetrated by the HNLC in recent past that include four incidents involving killing of one civilian, during the period from January 1, 2015, to July 31, 2019, arrest of 16 of its cadres, recovery of four weapons, surrender of 14 of its cadres and kidnapping of four persons. Earlier, the HNLC was declared a banned organisation on November 16, 2000 but the ban was later lifted.last_img read more

7 Nov

Super Trans Tasman Day Three Results

first_imgPlease see enclosed for results from day three of the 2013 Super Trans Taman Series. 10.00amWomen’s 30’sAustralia 4 defeated by New Zealand 6Men’s 50’sAustralia 9 defeated New Zealand 311.10am18’s GirlsAustralia 7 defeated New Zealand 3Senior MixedAustralia 2 defeated by New Zealand 6Men’s 40’sAustralia 10 defeated New Zealand 812.20pm20’s BoysAustralia 10 defeated New Zealand 6Men’s 30’sAustralia 5 defeated by New Zealand 71.30pm20’s GirlsAustralia 4 defeated New Zealand 2 2.40pm18’s BoysAustralia 8 defeated New Zealand 6Match ReportsWomen’s 30’sNew Zealand have claimed the first victory in the Women’s 30’s division, defeating Australia by two touchdowns to take a 1-0 series lead. Australia started strongly, scoring the game’s first touchdown in the opening minutes to take the early lead. Two quick touchdowns to New Zealand in the 12th and 14th minutes, to Edith Nathan and Lovey Woodhouse, saw New Zealand take a 2-1 lead. Australia hit back with two minutes remaining in the half when Fiona Williams scored, before Woodhouse got her second soon after, to give the Kiwis at 3-2 lead at half-time. The second half see-sawed, with teams going touchdown for touchdown, but Australia were unable to bridge the gap, with New Zealand taking game one 6-4. Men’s 50’sThe Australian Men’s 50’s have made a strong start to their Trans Tasman campaign, taking a six touchdown win against New Zealand. The Aussie Men took a 4-2 lead into the half-time break, before having a strong second half which saw them score five touchdowns to New Zealand’s one, to take the game 9-3. Stay tuned to the website for the full match report. 18’s GirlsThe Australian 18’s Girls have won their third game and taken a 3-0 series win after a ? performance today. After scoring in their first set of six from the tap, vice-captain Yasmin Meakes scored on the wing to take the early 1-0 lead. It took another 10 minutes for the next touchdown to be scored, with Ruahei Demant scoring to level the game up at 1-all. Australia took a 2-1 lead into the break after Kimberly Sue See set up Evania Pelitte-Denny to score with four minutes remaining in the half. Australia further extended its lead in the second half, with touchdowns to Sam Rodgers, Kimberly Sue See, Madison Regan, Yasmin Meakes and Hannah Dyball, while New Zealand scored two touchdowns for the half, through Ariia Tainui-McIntyre and Courtney O’Callaghan. Men’s 40’sThe Australian Men’s 40’s have made an impressive start to their Trans Tasman campaign, defeating World Cup champions New Zealand by two touchdowns in game one. Australia took a two touchdown lead into the half-time break, 7-5 and kept the advantage in the second half, claiming the game 10-8. Stay tuned for more details. Senior Mixed New Zealand has taken a 1-0 series lead in the Senior Mixed division, following its four toudchdown win over Australia in game one. New Zealand took a four touchdown lead into the half-time break, 6-2 and strong defence from both teams meant that the score stayed the same at the full-time siren. Stay tuned to the website for more details. 20’s BoysThe Australian 20’s Boys team have claimed a 3-0 series win on Thursday following their 10-6 over New Zealand in game three. The two sides matched it with each other early before trading touchdowns to 2-all, before two quick touchdowns in the last five minutes of the half saw Australia take a 4-2 lead into the half-time break. The match see-sawed in the second half, with both teams continuing the frantic pace that has been displayed all tournament, with Australia claiming the second half six touchdowns to four to take a four touchdown win. Men’s 30’sNew Zealand has won the first game in the Men’s 30’s division on Thursday, defeating Australia by two touchdowns, 7-5. The Kiwis skipped away to a 5-2 lead at half-time and despite winning the second half 3-2, it wasn’t enough, with New Zealand taking the match by two. First half touchdowns for Australia were scored by Elijah Van Der Kwast and Michael Devonshire, and second half touchdowns to Jason Scharenguivel, Warren Lorger and Aaron Jones.  20’s GirlsThe Australian 20’s Girls have won their division 3-0 after a 4-2 win in game three of the 2013 Youth Trans Tasman Series. The third game was the closest of the three between the two countries, with Australia only getting away with the win in the later stages of the second half. Kate McCarthy was the first to score for Australia in the opening minute of the game, while it took New Zealand until the midway mark of the half to score and level the game up at 1-all. The sides traded touchdowns shortly after and nothing separated the teams at half-time, locked up at 2-all. Australia got on top of New Zealand in the second half, scoring two touchdowns, through Maddison Studdon and Talia Yarden, to take the game 4-2 and the series 3-0. 18’s BoysThe 18’s Boys decider was the final game of the series and the only live game of the Youth divisions on day three of the event. The Australian side prevailed by two touchdowns over New Zealand in the 18’s Boys division, 8-6, to win their series 2-1. Stay tuned to the website for the full story. Stay tuned to the TFA YouTube channel for all of the highlights from day three of the 2013 Super Trans Tasman Series. Related LinksDay Three Resultslast_img read more

10 Aug

August 16 2013This continues our report from 814

first_imgAugust 16, 2013This continues our report from 8/14/2013 about the creation of bronze bells.Before reassembling the flask, the artisans use a hollow metal tube to perforate the top of the negative bell impression and then, using a spoon, they carve a small concave circle around the top of the bell, as we see Rawaf doing in the picture to the left. This allows for a smoother pouring of the bronze into the mold.[photos and text by Soleri archive intern Julia Dorn-Giarmoleo]In the meantime, the furnace where the bronze is melted gets loaded up. Here is Andy putting unusable bells and other pieces of scrap bronze in the furnace to be melted down and re-used.The two sides of the flask are then reassembled, the wooden flask is taken off and the molds are lined up on the ground. A metal or plastic frame is then put around the sand mold, as Jonas is pictured doing in this photo. Ingots are then placed on the molds to prevent any possible movement.Two artisans, (pictured here are Andy and Jonas) don protective clothing, and lift the crucible containing the molten bronze out of the furnace.They carefully pour the bronze into each of the molds. The other artisans follow the pouring with shovels, so that should any bronze fall onto the cement or out of the mold, they can quickly throw sand on it to prevent any danger or injury.The molds are then left to cool for about an hour, or until the bronze is solidified. This report will continue on Monday.last_img read more

9 Aug

Rep Webbers bill increases campaign finance violations penalty

first_img Categories: News,Webber News 16Feb Rep. Webber’s bill increases campaign finance violations penalty State Rep. Michael Webber has introduced legislation to improve government transparency by increasing the penalty for violating the Michigan Campaign Finance Act.Webber, of Rochester Hills, said the bill increases the fine for violating campaign finance laws from $1,000 to $3,000. He said the bill’s intent is to boost accountability by showing who is funding elections in Michigan.“The laws are very clear about when reports are due, what information must be in the reports and where the information must be sent,” Webber said. “I believe this legislation will bring past violations into compliance and curb future violations by increasing the penalty for ignoring the law.”The bill was referred to the House Elections and Ethics Committee.#####The measure is House Bill 4216.last_img read more

7 Aug

Virgin Media will start to contact customers about

first_imgVirgin Media will start to contact customers about upgrading to ultrafast broadband this week, and announced that Vivid will be the new brand for web connections above 100Mbps.Virgin said it will start to explain how users can opt-in to an upgrade from October 1, 2015 and will let broadband customers go from existing speeds of up to 50Mbps, 100Mbps and 152Mbps to more powerful speeds of 70Mbps, Vivid 150Mbps and Vivid 200Mbps.Using DOCSIS 3.0 technology, Virgin claims that it will deploy the superior speeds in “record time” with 90% of customers being able to upgrade by the end of 2015.“Our message is simple:  if you want to be certain that you are signing up to true ultrafast broadband speeds of 100Mbps and above, Vivid from Virgin Media is the new standard,” said Virgin Media’s managing director of consumer, Gregor McNeil.Earlier this month, Virgin committed £25 million (€34 million) to upgrade homes and businesses in Nottingham, enabling them to receive ultra-fast broadband services. In June it also began rolling out ultrafast broadband in Manchester in the first phase of its £3 billion broadband investment plan, dubbed Project Lightning.The news comes a day after Sky announced it was connecting its first customer to its new ultrafast fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband network in York in the UK.The rival UK operator said its ultrafast broadband customers will be able to receive broadband speeds of up to 940 Mbps, with Sky building the FTTH network in partnership with TalkTalk and CityFibre.last_img read more

7 Aug

Spanish regional cable operator Euskaltel has laun

first_imgSpanish regional cable operator Euskaltel has launched the 4K Android set-top promised by CEO Francisco Arteche at the company’s first quarter results presentation in May.Euskaltel has signed up to make Google Play available to its customers, enabling them to take Google services from their set-tops. The company said it was hopeful that this would open up new opportunities for local app developers in the Basque Country region in which it operates.Companies that have signed up to make their apps available via Euskaltel’s TV service include news services Diario Vasco, El Correo, Grupo Noticias and EiTB and Basque Country bank Kutxabank, one of Euskaltel’s major shareholders.The box can be connected to peripheral devices via WiFi, Bluetooth and USB, and subscribers can use their mobile phones to control it. The device can be connected to a gaming controller, with selected games available via the Google Play store, and can also be voice-controlled.Francisco ArtecheOther features of the Euskaltel platform include restart service Replay, video-on-demand service Replayteka, with over 7,000 movies and series episodes available, seven-day catch-up and DVR.“TV consumption habits are constantly changing. TV users are demanding a new way of viewing television that combines the internet and TV. We want to universalize television, so that all our customers can have access to the new TV experience, just as we already did with fixed telephony when we begun operating 20 years ago, or with broadband and mobile telephony since then. Now it’s the turn of a new way of watching television at home, with content and features for everyone and with the maximum image quality,” said Arteche.Separately, Spain’s competition watchdog last week gave a green light for the acquisition of Zegona Communications-owned Asturias region operator Telecable by Euskaltel, paving the way for completion of the deal. The acquisition of Telecable will create a single cable and telecommunications operator covering the Basque Country, Asturias and Galicia, where Euskaltel already owns local player R.last_img read more

6 Aug

All good things come to an end And so it will be

first_imgAll good things come to an end. And so it will be with Netflix’s growth spurt. At some point, the pioneering online video provider will run out of new customers willing and able to subscribe – provided it sticks to its current business model. But what if Netflix were to pursue more radical options?It’s first worth stressing that Netflix’s model – offering ad-free, subscription-based access at largely similar prices worldwide – has plenty of distance to run. Although the number of net new Netflix subscriptions peaked in 2017, Ovum forecasts that the company will still be adding over 13 million annually, even in five years’ time.By then, however, its annual growth rates in many of the world’s largest markets will have slowed from double-digit to single-digit percentages. In the US, Netflix’s subscriber base will grow by just 0.2% in 2023 (see Figure 1). And despite its global expansion, the US will still be a hugely important market for the company, accounting for about a third of subscriptions and revenues.So how else can Netflix grow, beyond simply raising its prices? Ovum has identified three options.1. Make mobile video even more affordableOvum forecasts that over 500 million people in India will have smartphones and data connections powerful enough to watch online video in 2022, yet Netflix will have fewer than 5 million subscriptions by then. Why? It’s about affordability.Netflix has taken several steps to make its service more accessible and affordable in emerging markets, such as streaming technologies that consume minimal amounts of data and enabling people without credit cards or bank accounts to charge their subscriptions via their mobile phone bills.But the main sticking point is Netflix’s US$7.99 entry-level price point – great value for consumers in developed markets but too expensive for many in emerging markets, where disposable income levels are often several times lower. Last month, the company was revealed to have acknowledged this issue by trialing a $4 per month “mobile-only” plan in Malaysia for access on one phone or tablet at standard definition quality.For hundreds of millions of consumers in emerging markets, roughly halving prices won’t be enough. Put simply, subscription services aren’t the no-brainer they are in developed countries. In Malaysia, 75% of mobile connections are pay-as-you-go. In India, 95% are. If Netflix really wants to move the needle in these massive markets, it will need to explore more radical pricing and bundles through closer partnerships with local mobile operators.2. Bring a truly fresh take on TV advertisingTo be 100% clear, adopting a Hulu-like model where viewing is interrupted by ads before or during TV shows and movies would be a bad move for Netflix. Using ads to offer a “free” version would risk cannibalising its paid subscriber base, while showing ads to paying customers would ruin the viewing experience.Instead, Netflix could invest in evolving product placement, the practice of including brands within the content and storylines of TV shows and movies. Around three in four Netflix shows already feature at least one example of this covert form of advertising, according to specialist agency Branded Entertainment Network. Augmented reality-like technology could take the concept to the next level, digitally inserting different products into videos for different viewers, so say, one sees a Coke and another a Pepsi.There’s already a precedent in another globalised form of media, sport, with broadcasters overlaying “virtual advertising” over banners at matches. Vendors such as Accenture and Ryff are working on bringing more advanced technology to movies and TV shows. To put this opportunity in perspective, various estimates suggest advertisers will spend over US$20 billion on product placement this year; subscription online video services will generate US$32 billion, according to Ovum’s forecasts.3. Reinvient itself as a TV ‘re-intermediary’Netflix once looked set to become a kind of “Spotify for TV” – before content providers realised that selling their most valuable content to a single, increasingly powerful intermediary was not such a good idea. Netflix has since invested heavily in exclusive and original content to become more like HBO’s TV brand, while HBO, Disney, and others have sought to become more like Netflix.But few established media companies will come anywhere near their inspiration’s level of success. In 2023, Netflix will account for around one in three online video subscriptions worldwide (excluding China, one of the few places where the service is not available). In many countries, its market share will be well over 50%, leaving most rival apps fighting over relatively small numbers of subscribers.Netflix could use its scale to help these providers to survive, by reinventing itself as an Amazon Channels-like aggregator handling marketing, technology, and customer support in exchange for a cut of fees from subscriptions it brokers or manages.The question is whether another company will get there first – not least Amazon. The battle to become the platform that profits most from helping consumers navigate today’s fragmented TV landscape will be fought by the biggest names in media and tech, including AT&T Time Warner, Apple, Comcast Sky, Google, and Liberty Global. Netflix will be increasingly dependent on such “re-intermediaries” for attracting subscribers, billing, and driving viewing – unless it becomes one itself.Playing safe versus changing the gameNever underestimate the power of one big idea – and one company’s ability to deliver on its promise. But no single idea has infinite potential. Sooner or later, Netflix will need to look beyond the limits of its current business model – just like when it made the truly game-changing move from DVD rentals to online streaming.Straight Talk is a weekly briefing from the desk of the Ovum’s Chief Research Officer. To receive this newsletter by email, please contact us.last_img read more

3 Aug

Want to know what the teenagers in your life reall

first_imgWant to know what the teenagers in your life really think about sex and drugs?Are you sure?Well, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a pretty good idea, thanks to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Every other year, thousands of teens in public and private high schools across the country take this nationally representative survey. The CDC just released results for 2017, and here are a few of the highlights:SexTeens’ experiences with sex are changing, and the news is almost all good, says Kathleen Ethier, director of CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.”Fewer are initiating sex,” Ethier says, “fewer are currently sexually active, they’re having fewer partners, and they’re using more effective hormonal birth control methods.”In 2007, nearly 48 percent of teens said they’d had sex at least once. A decade later, it’s 39.5 percent. One change in the data that Ethier’s not happy about is a recent decline in condom use.In 2007, 61.5 percent of teens said they’d used a condom during their last sexual encounter. By last year, that rate had dropped to 53.8 percent. Ethier says this is due, at least in part, to “a decrease over time in requirements that school cover HIV and [sexually transmitted diseases] in health education programs.”According to the report, young people aged 15-24 account for half of the roughly 20 million new STDs reported each year.One more red flag, Ethier says: More than one in 10 young women (11.3 percent) reported being forced to have sex.DrugsWhen it comes to illicit drugs — like cocaine and heroin — teen use is way down, from 22.6 percent in 2007 to 14 percent in 2017.For the first time, though, the survey also asked teens if they have ever misused prescription opioids. Fourteen percent said they had.”We don’t know what this 14 percent number means, but we were quite surprised by it,” Ethier says, adding that CDC has more work to do to understand what these new data say about the opioid crisis and teens’ role in it.ViolenceThe survey also asked high-schoolers about bullying and violence at school. One in 5 said they’d been bullied at school. Fifteen percent said they’d been bullied electronically.The rate of students who said they’d been threatened or injured with a weapon at school has dropped significantly in the past decade. But students of color are still far more likely than white students to say they missed school because of safety concerns at school or in their communities.Mental HealthPerhaps the biggest red flags were in the section devoted to mental health.Roughly a third of teens surveyed said they’d experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.”I think that’s really significant,” says CDC’s Ethier, “and certainly not what we want to see if we’re trying to send our kids into adulthood in the most healthy way.”The news is even worse for students who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.Nearly two-thirds reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.In fact, in every category, LGB teens were at higher risk than their heterosexual classmates. They were twice as likely to report being bullied in school or electronically, three times as likely to seriously consider suicide and four times as likely to attempt suicide.”It’s shocking and alarming and tells us that things are terribly wrong,” says Ellen Kahn, director of the Children, Youth & Families program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “We seriously need to address this.”Kahn says these data are a stark reminder of the lack of protections at the federal, state, district and school level for LGB teens and of why, she says, these protections are so sorely needed. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more