Yes, Federal Energy Tax Credits are back – you heard right!
The 2011 federal energy tax credit for home energy improvements has been renewed for 2012 and 2013. Since 2011, only homeowners installing qualified alternative energy systems including solar, geothermal and wind energy products were able to get a federal tax credit. Now the extended program once again includes high efficiency heating, cooling, water heating, windows, doors and insulation, meeting EnergyStar™ requirements.
What are the tax credit criteria?
- A lifetime limit of $500. That means if you already claimed $500 worth of credits in 2008-2011, you’ve maxed out.
- Product meeting Energy Star requirements for energy efficiency, see below.
- Installed in taxpayer’s existing principal residence and expected to last a minimum of 5 years.
- You get 10% of qualified expenses, but dollar limits per product apply; click for more information on specific products.
How do you get the credit? We recommend that you check with a tax adviser or the IRS regarding your personal eligibility. You should retain documentation to establish that your equipment meets the guidelines required and that your purchase was made during the tax year you are filing for. Homeowners should save all available documentation, such as purchase receipts, ENERGY STAR labels, and manufacturers’ certification statements.
No, the government is not requiring you to buy a 90% high efficiency furnace – you heard wrong!
You may have heard ads about this issue. There was legislation that was passed which would have required customers in the Northern US (including us) to purchase only 90% + AFUE (high efficiency) furnaces, and those in the Southern US to have high efficiency air conditioning or heat pumps. This legislation has since been cancelled, and likely sent back to committee. While promoting fuel efficiency is a great thing, they didn’t think it through. Besides forcing Americans to spend more for a furnace, there were just too many logistical things they didn’t consider – such as what if a certain size only fits your house? Or what if you are buying a lower efficiency furnace in combination with a high efficiency heat pump. So it has been withdrawn.
How can you learn more?
Find out more about furnaces or the tax credit at www.washingtonenergy.com. Washington Energy Services can be reached at 800 398 4663 and we have just reopened our Energy Center showroom at 3909 196th St. SW in Lynnwood, WA, 98036. That is open 10-4 Monday through Friday. You can stop by and see the products that qualify for the tax credit and speak with one of our home energy specialists.