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Receive Tax Credits for Making Your Home Energy Efficient

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Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Home Improvements

Disclaimer: Due to the fact that the both Federal and individual state tax codes are in constant flux and apt to change from year to year it is strongly advised that the advice of a qualified professional tax account or attorney is sought when researching and applying for energy tax credits.

In this day and age of high energy costs and concerns about the environment many homeowners are looking to either build or modify their existing home to not only run more efficiently, and have less of an environmental impact, but to also save money on operating expenses and to off-set their taxes. As far back as the Carter administration there have been tax breaks and rebates for Americans who qualified.

During 1977 the Carter administration proposed tax credits for energy conservation steps to offset energy efficient home improvements such as insulation costs and tax credit for householders and companies were also proposed that offered up to 2,000 dollars in credits for the cost of solar energy equipment. The Carter administration had also discussed a provision that homeowners would be required to make their homes more energy-efficient and Carter was also known to have seriously considered a "standby" gasoline tax ranging up to 50 cents a gallon but at the same time he was considering a rebate on fuel-efficient cars.

At the time many of these energy saving concepts were in their infancy, Americans for the most part saw little reason or need behind them, and industry was not as willing as they are today to spend on the R & D required to develop new and better ways to run our homes and vehicles. Now, most people take all of these things for granted as a part of everyday life and away to contribute towards a better and more sustainable future.

Federal Level Tax Breaks

The Federal Government has a schedule of tax incentives for homeowners who make improvements or use appliances to more efficiently run their homes. Over the last five or six years by purchasing and installing qualifying new energy-efficient systems and appliances in their main home, and expecting to utilize these new features for at least the next five years, homeowners are eligible for tax credits.

Some of the more standard improvements that fall into this category are:

  • Advanced Main Air Circulating Fans
  • Asphalt Roofs with Cooling Granules.
  • Biomass Fuel Stoves with a Thermal Efficiency Rating of 75% or more
  • Central Air Conditioning and Heating
  • Exterior Doors and Windows
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Hot water Boilers
  • Insulation
  • Metal Roofs
  • Skylights
  • Storm Windows

A Federal tax credit of thirty percent will be allowed for the purchase of qualified energy-efficient products, up to a maximum tax credit of $1,500.

The Internal Revenue Service advises that:

“To qualify, a component must meet or exceed the criteria established by the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code (including supplements) and must be installed in the taxpayer's main home in the United States."

Note: The tax credits for the ears 2009 and 2010 for energy efficiency cannot total more than $1,500 dollars for the two years combined.

Credits for Improvements Can Only Be Applied to a Primary Residence

These credits are only being offered and can only be applied to a primary residence and second homes or business does not qualify for these particular benefits. The credits may be applied for both improvements and new appliances that are on the scheduled list of allowances.

Residential Energy Efficient Property Credits: Solar Panels, Fuel Cell Power Plants, Geothermal and Wind Systems

A thirty percent credit is allowed for these specific items and no maximum credit amount is applied on these items up until 31, 2016.

  • Fuel Cells
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Photovoltaic Systems
  • Solar Panels
  • Solar-Powered Water Heaters

Not all systems qualify under the Federal guidelines and the minimum expected for a qualified fuel cell power plant, which converts a fuel into electricity using electrochemical means and has an electricity generation efficiency of more than thirty percent, and generates at least 0.5 kilowatts of electricity, the allowable credit amount would be thirty percent of the cost. As is with the items above there is no maximum on the total tax credit amount and the credit is valid through the end of 2016.

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