Making your home more energy efficient can not only save you big bucks in 2009, but also put money back in your pocket.
Washington, D.C., January 2009 - U.S. homeowners have a new opportunity to lower their energy costs and save up to $500 on their 2009 federal income taxes by making specified energy efficiency upgrades to their homes, advises the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP). (See www.energytaxincentives.org/consumers/ for details.)
"Thanks to a provision of the national financial rescue package enacted on October 3, 2008, consumers can once again get an income tax credit to help defray the cost of energy- and money-saving home improvements," said Steve Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a TIAP founder. Improvements must be installed in 2009; improvements installed in 2008 are not eligible.
"We urge consumers to take advantage of the federal tax credits to make their homes more comfortable and affordable, as well as more environmentally 'friendly,'
through reducing energy waste," said Kateri Callahan, president of the Alliance to Save Energy, another TIAP founding organization.
The legislation extends homeowner tax credits that were first enacted in 2005 but expired at the end of 2007. Taxpayers who did not use the full $500 credit in 2006 or 2007 can use the remaining portion in 2009.
In addition, there is a new tax credit - effective 2009 through 2016 - for 30 percent of the cost of an ENERGY STAR qualified geothermal heat pump, up to $2,000. (www.energytaxincentives.org/business/renewables.php#geothermalhp.) And, under the 2005 legislation, consumer tax credits are still available for some hybrid-electric vehicle models from Ford and General Motors (www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/tax_hybrid.shtml).
The home improvement tax credits in effect for 2009 are as follows:
Building Envelope (See www.energytaxincentives.org/consumers/insulation_etc.php for details on qualifying products.)
• Insulation and sealing products - 10 percent of the cost, up to $500, for insulation added to walls, ceilings, or other parts of the building "envelope," or shell, and for materials to seal cracks in the shell and to seal ducts to reduce infiltration and heat loss. Installation costs are not eligible for the tax credit.
• Windows, storm windows, and skylights - 10 percent of the cost, up to $200, of any new ENERGY STAR qualified windows (but not installation costs).
• Exterior doors and window films - 10 percent of the cost, up to $500.
• Roofs - 10 percent of the cost, up to $500, for metal roofs with pigmented coatings or asphalt roofs with cooling granules that meet ENERGY STAR requirements. Again, installation costs do not qualify for a tax credit.
Heating and Cooling Equipment (See www.energytaxincentives.org/consumers/heating-cooling.php for details on qualifying products.)
• Central air conditioner, heat pump, water heater, or biomass (e.g. corn) stove - up to $300 towards the purchase price, including installation costs.
• Furnaces and boilers - up to $150 for new high-efficiency gas, oil, and propane furnaces and boilers.
• High-efficiency fans for heating and cooling systems - $50.
TIAP members ACEEE, the Alliance, and the Natural Resources Defense Council are working closely with members of Congress to extend the consumer tax incentives beyond the current expiration date of December 31, 2009, to provide continued assistance to taxpayers in defraying a portion of the cost of making their homes more energy efficient.
The Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP) is sponsored by a coalition of public interest nonprofit groups, government agencies, and other organizations in the energy efficiency field. It is designed to give consumers and businesses information they need to make use of the federal income tax incentives for energy efficient products and technologies passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequently amended several times.
The Alliance to Save Energy (www.ase.org) is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental, and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, economy, and national security.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting both economic prosperity and environmental protection. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, contact ACEEE, 529 14th St, N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20045 or visit www.aceee.org