Just in time for tax season, the federal government is helping homeowners increase energy efficiency while saving some extra cash. The popular tax credits for home energy-efficiency improvements, which expired at the end of 2011, were renewed and extended through the end of 2013 by the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012
The law allows homeowners to claim tax credits for improvements such as new windows, adding insulation and upgrading to energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment. Also, the credits are retroactive; homeowners can claim eligible improvements made in both 2012 and 2013.
Tax credits are available for the following specific improvements:
Up to 10 percent of the cost of adding insulation, installing qualifying windows and doors, and roofing materials that help reduce heat gain
$50 for a main air-circulating fan
$150 for a furnace or boiler with an annual fuel utilization efficiency of 95 percent or more
$300 for a high-efficiency electric heat pump
$300 for a high-efficiency central air conditioner
$300 for a water heater with an energy factor rating of at least 0.82, or a thermal efficiency of 90 percent or more
$300 for an electric heat pump water heater with an energy factor rating of at least 2.0
$150 for a biomass stove
The total amount that can be claimed by a taxpayer in all years combined is $500. The cap includes efficiency improvements made in previous years. If you have claimed $500 for any previous year, improvements made in 2012 and 2013 will be ineligible.
To claim the credit, you will need to file IRS Form 5695 for the tax year in which the improvement was made. You will also need to obtain a statement from the manufacturer certifying that the product meets tax credit requirements.
Search the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) for additional state and local incentives.
In addition to these tax credits, Appalachian Power offers rebates on energy efficiency improvements you make to your home. Visit aeprebates.com for a complete list of rebates.