Three Common Things People Can Claim for Energy Efficiency Tax Credits

"I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is I could be just as proud for half of the money.”–Arthur Godfrey

The tax season has officially begun, and from now until the end of April people will be scrambling to file on time and find as many tax breaks and credits to use as possible.  The checks you've written for charities and the items you've donated can help you a lot when the time comes to file, but people with energy efficient houses could be missing out on receiving some great credits. 

There have been rumors that Congress cut tax credits for environmentally friendly home improvement projects, but on New Year's Day Congress extended the tax credit for people filing their taxes for both 2012 and 2013.  It's important to remember that home owners can receive up to $500 in tax credits for each eligible home improvement they’ve made since 2006, but if you've claimed the full credit for home improvements since then you won't be able to qualify for the credit.

The Energy Star website has all of the in-depth information you need to learn about which products and home improvement projects qualify for energy efficiency tax credits, but we'll give you a quick rundown about some energy efficient updates that people commonly claim.

Windows, Doors, and Skylights

This is a tax credit that a lot of people could qualify for.  If you've replaced any of your windows, doors, or skylights with products that meet Energy Star standards you're entitled to a tax credit.  The beauty of this tax credit is that home owners don't have replace all of their doors and windows in order to qualify, a single eco-friendly window or door is enough to give you a tax break.  Window tax credits are capped at $200, but other items can be credited for either 10% of the product's or project's cost or a maximum of $500


It's possible that some people reading this may have a green roof and not even be aware of it.  Metal roofs with pigmented coatings and asphalt roofs with cooling granules can both qualify for the tax credit if they meet Energy Star standards.  You should get in touch with the contracting/construction company that did your roof work in order to find out what kind of roofing materials they used.  If your roof qualifies you can have a credit that amounts to 10% of the roofing costs, or have a credit that has a maximum amount of $500.


This tax break doesn't just apply to regular insulation materials, products that reduce air leaks with tight air seals, spray foam, caulk, and weather stripping can also qualify for this credit.  Bulk insulation products like blow-in fibers, batts, rolls, expanding sprays, pour-in-places, and rigid boards can be claimed for a credit.  Like with roofing materials, the tax credit can be either 10% of the materials cost or a credit that has the maximum amount of $500.


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