Energy Tax Credits for 2011: What's Available

Thanks to the federal tax bill signed into law in December, there are still energy tax credits available for 2011. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that the amounts available in 2011 have been reduced for certain improvements. From 2009 through 2010, homeowners were rewarded with a 30% tax credit for making their homes more energy efficient ($1500 maximum credit). For 2011, homeowners will receive only a 10% tax credit for home energy efficiency improvements ($500 maximum credit). Home energy credits for upgrades with renewable energy (solar/wind/geothermal) remain at 30% with no maximum limit through the year 2016. Here is what's available according to ENERGY STAR:

Home Energy Efficiency Improvements*
Insulation
Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Roofs (Metal & Asphalt)
Windows & Doors
Biomass Stoves
Water Heaters (non-solar)

*Tax Credit 10% of the cost up to $500 or a specific amount from $50-$300
*Expires December 31, 2011
*Must be an existing home & your principal residence. New construction and rentals do not qualify.

Renewable Energy Home Improvements*
Solar Energy Systems
Small Wind Turbines (Residential)
Geothermal Heat Pumps

*Tax Credit 30% of cost with no upper limit
*Expires December 31, 2016
*Existing homes & new construction qualify. Both principle residences and second homes qualify. Rentals do not qualify.

Fuel Cell and Microturbine Systems
Residential Fuel Cells qualify for a 30% tax credit of the cost up to .5 kW of power capacity through December 31, 2016.
Existing homes and new construction qualify. Must be your principle residence. Rentals and second homes do not qualify.

According to The Daily Green, "the 2011 home improvement tax incentives will revert to the 2005-2008 levels" where there was a $500 maximum cap. If you have already taken the $500 credit from 2005 through 2008, or, the $1500 credit for 2009-2010, you are not qualified for the new 2011 $500 tax credit. If you have claimed less than $500 from 2003 through 2010, you still have a partial credit available to you.

For more details, information, and specific requirements that must be kept in each category, visit the following websites:
Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Energy Star Tax Credits, in North Texas GreenTex Energy Savers.

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Tags: Energy Improvements, Energy Tax Credits, HVAC, Insulation, Renewable Energy, Solar

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Comment by Dennis Cheslik on March 11, 2011 at 2:41pm
I totally agree with you, Troy. The best thing we can hope for is somehow the "cash for caulkers" legislation gets passed through the senate in the very near future.
Comment by Troy Spindler on March 11, 2011 at 12:17am
Again it bugs me that renewables gets the lions share of these credits when we all know that people save more energy and get a bigger 'bang for their buck' by implementing energy efficiency improvements. Energy Efficiency needs better lobbyist!
Comment by Sean Lintow Sr on March 6, 2011 at 10:57am
Well thanks for answering the one question I could never find an answer to: If you have already taken the $500 credit from 2005 through 2008, or, the $1500 credit for 2009-2010, you are not qualified for the new 2011 $500 tax credit. Thanks

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