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Energy Efficiency Tax Credits: Time is Running Out!

I am willing to bet that most homeowners that have made energy efficiency upgrades in their homes in the last 2 years are not aware that they have been eligible for subsequent tax breaks, which is quite a shame.

2013 is likely the last year these tax credits are available, so if you have had ABET do a full home energy audit on your house already this year, or you are even considering making efficiency upgrades to your home, make sure you take advantage of these money-saving tax credits.

The tax credit comes from the American Tax Payer Relief Act, and the benefits have been extended until December 31, 2013 with some changes to qualifications

There is an overall cap of $500 combined for fiscal years 2006-2013, so if you’ve claimed this credit in the past, be aware that you may be close to or at your overall limit.  If you have never claimed this credit, know that you can claim up to $500 total, but different kinds of improvements have their own cap limits.  For example, a $200 credit cap for windows.

There are lots of efficiency improvements that you can count towards this $500 limit, including treatments/improvements on exterior windows, insulation, doors, roofs, central air, heat pumps, and boiler or water heaters. There are standards for each improvement, but projects range from small to large, so don’t assume you’re not eligible.

Therefore, for any energy efficiency improvements you make this year, even simple caulking, be sure to keep your receipts of purchase and the manufacturer’s certification for the products.  File IRS Form 5695 to claim your credit.

Visit www.energystar.gov for more details about this tax credit opportunity.

The Alliance to Save Energy has created this helpful table for understanding eligibility criteria:

Value of Credit

 Eligibility Criteria

Insulation or insulating material

10% of cost.

Meets the criteria required by the2009 International Energy Conservation Code.

Exterior window or skylight

10% of cost, up to $200.

Meets ENERGY STAR requirements.

Exterior door

10% of cost

Meets ENERGY STAR requirements.

Metal roof with pigmented coating, or asphalt roof with cooling granules

10% of cost

Meets ENERGY STAR requirements.

Advanced main air circulating fan

$50

Electricity use of no more than 2% of total energy used by the furnace.

Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler

$150

Annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rate not less than 95.

Electric heat pump water heater

$300

Energy factor of at least 2.0.

Electric heat pump

$300

Meets the highest efficiency tier set by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency for 2009: SEER of at least 15, an EER of at least 12.5, and an HSPF of at least 8.5.

Central air conditioner

$300

Meets the highest efficiency tier set by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency for 2009: SEER of at least 16 and an EER of at least 13 for most air conditioners.

Natural gas, propane, or oil water heater

$300

Energy factor of at least .82 or a thermal efficiency rating of at least 90%.

Biomass stove

$300

Thermal efficiency rating of at least 75%.

Heats a dwelling or water for use in a dwelling.

Fueled by plant-derived fuel.

 

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