Energy Star Tax Credit

Energy Star Tax Rebates Offer Big Savings on Utility Bills While Increasing Your Tax Refund

You are probably wondering about the Energy Star Tax Credit and if you are eligible to get one. First let’s start off buy talking about the three different types of Energy Star Tax Rebates being offered by the government:

Energy Star Tax Credit for Consumers: These are tax credits that you can receive for doing home improvements on your home between Jan. 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. Here’s the list of what makes this work for you:

  1. 1. Not only must the improvements be done in the time frame stated above but they must also be “placed in service” making it available and ready to be used.

  2. 2. All but a few of the improvements must be done on a primary residence (geothermal heat pumps, solar panels, solar water heater and small wind energy systems can be done on a secondary residence).

  3. The maximum amount of monies you can claim toward your Energy Star Tax Credits for all of the items placed in service during 2009 and 2010 is $1,500 with a few exceptions. (The exceptions are solar water heaters, solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, fuel cells, as well as small systems that create wind energy. These do not have a cap and can be placed in service through 2016.)

  4. You must have and retain the Manufacturer Certification Statement as well as the receipts for these improvements qualify. Typically this is a signed statement from the company that manufactures the product that this product qualifies as able to receive the tax credit. Quite often you can find these “certifications on the manufacturer’s website. You will need to keep a copy of this in your records but won’t have to submit it with your tax return.

  5. Any improvements done during 2009 will need to be claimed within your 2009 taxes. The tax form you’ll need from the IRS is Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) and should be available toward the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010.

  6. The credit for newly built homes only works for photovoltaics, geothermal heat pumps, small energy wind systems, solar water heaters and fuel cells.

Energy Star Tax Credit for Home Builders: These credits are for home builders who build energy efficient homes with a 30-50% savings on heating and cooling over the 2004 code. These homes have to have been occupied by January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2009.

Energy Star Tax Credit for Commercial Buildings: This tax credit allows a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot of new or already built buildings that have a minimum of a 50% decrease in heating and/or cooling energy uses. This deduction is good for systems changed and placed in service from Jan. 1, 2006 through December 31, 2013.

Which systems are part of the Tax Credits for Consumers?

This range is actually quite big but remember that except for the few items mentioned above (denotated with an * below), the total you can get a tax credit for is 30% of the cost up to $1,500. Here’s the list of possible improvements:

  • Insulation

  • Windows and Doors
    • Exterior windows and skylights
    • Storm windows
    • Exterior Doors
    • Storm Doors

  • Roofing
    • Metal Roofs
    • Asphalt Roofs

  • HVAC
    • Central A/C
    • Air source heat pumps
    • Natural Gas or Propane Furnaces
    • Oil Furnaces
    • Gas, Propane or Oil Hot Water Boilers
    • Advanced Main Air Circulating Fan

  • Water Heaters
    • Gas, Oil, Propane Water Heater
    • Electric Heat Pump Water Heater

  • Biomass Stove

  • Geo-Thermal Heat Pump*

  • Solar Energy Systems*
    • Solar Water Heating
    • Photovoltaic Systems

  • Small Wind Energy Systems*
    • Residential Small Wind Turbines

  • Fuel Cells*
    • Residential Fuel Cell and microturbine system Cars
    • Hybrid gasoline electric, diesel, battery-electric, alternative fuel and fuel cell vehicles

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