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Tax Credits for Energy Star Improvements

Tax credits can also provide significant savings to the homeowner.


Whilst a tax deduction for home improvements can reduce the amount of income on which tax is payable, a tax credit directly reduces the tax itself. Tax credits are available for many types of home improvements.

For example, installing insulation, adding energy-efficient windows, and some types of highly efficient equipment for cooling and heating, and solar water heating may all qualify for tax credits.

The IRS has many helpful publications to assist homeowners who are about to embark on home improvements so a visit to their website or calling into a branch office will usually provide the homeowner with a wealth of information.

And when you begin your home improvements remember to maintain accurate records of spending and save all receipts ... this will assist you enormously when the time comes to claim your home improvement tax deduction.

In order to be eligible for the tax credit, heating and cooling equipment must meet specified measures of energy efficiency. Individuals can search for qualifying products on the, Consortium for Energy Efficiency’s Web site.

Product

 Placed in Service between
Jan. 1, 2009
and Feb. 17, 2009

Placed in Service between
Feb. 18, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010

Notes

Exterior Windows (includes skylights and storm windows) and doors

  • Must meet the requirements for your region of the 2001 or 2004 International Energy Conservation Code, a model energy code for buildings. All ENERGY STAR windows qualify.


  •  Must meet the requirements for your region of the 2001 or 2004 International Energy Conservation Code, a model energy code for buildings.

  • Must be equal to or below a U factor of .30 and SHGC of .30.


Only some Energy Star windows will qualify; however, for exterior windows and skylights purchased before June 1, 2009, the IRS and US Treasury announced grace period during which existing manufacturer certifications and Energy Star labels will be accepted. From June 1 onwards, the new, more stringent, criteria apply. See the IRS guidance and press release.

Insulation and roof

  • Insulation must meet the 2001 or 2004 International Energy Conservation Code.

  • Roofs must be metal roofs with pigmented coatings or asphalt roofs with cooling granules that meet ENERGY STAR requirements.



  • Insulation must meet the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.
  • Roofs must be metal roofs with pigmented coatings or asphalt roofs with cooling granules that meet ENERGY STAR requirements.


Required insulation levels will vary by region and will include insulation that is already installed in your home.

Furnaces and Boilers


  • Natural gas, propane, or oil furnaces and boilers must have at least a 95 percent annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE)

  • Natural gas or propane furnaces must have at least a 95 percent AFUE
  • Oil furnaces must have at least a 90 percent AFUE
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil boilers must have at least a 90 percent AFUE


 

Water heaters

  • Electric heat pump water heaters must have an Energy Factor (EF) of 2.0.
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil water heaters must have an EF of at least .80 or a thermal efficiency rating of at least 90%

  • Electric heat pump water heaters must have an EF of 2.0.
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil water heaters must have an EF of at least .82 or a thermal efficiency rating of at least 90%.


  • This is more than twice as efficient as the current federal standard. There is no credit for other kinds of electric water heaters.
  • Only some tank less water heaters and “condensing” or other advanced water heaters currently reach this efficiency level.


Biomass stoves


  • Biomass stoves for space or water heating can run on crops, wood, plants, etc., but must have a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75%.

  • Biomass stoves for space or water heating can run on crops, wood, plants, etc., but must have a thermal efficiency rating using a lower heating value of at least 75%.

 

Currently, the criteria for Energy Star geothermal heat pumps are: for a closed-loop system, 14.1 EER and a coefficient of performance (COP) of at least 3.3. For an open-loop system, 16.2 EER and 3.6 COP. For a direct expansion system, 15 EER and 3.5 COP. In addition, the geothermal heat pumps must include a desuperheater, which helps heat water, or an integrated water heating system.
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