The U.S. Congress has voted to extend a variety of tax credits for energy upgrades, giving homeowners a bit of good news as tax time approaches.
Credits apply to improvements such as new windows and insulation, water heaters, heat pumps, furnaces, and air-sealing materials, according to The Tax Incentives Assistance Project, or TIAP.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy reported that the incentives actually expired at the end of 2013. The last-minute move in Congress keeps them on the books until the end of this year, but it will be up to the next Congress to decide whether they will be extended to cover improvements made in 2015.
Each product category or type of improvement has its own rules and credit caps. For example, furnaces and boilers with an Annual Fuel Use Efficiency of 95 or more are eligible for credits of up to $150, while air conditioners, wood stoves, and water heaters top out at $300. Credits on certain fans are capped at $50. (Use the link to the TIAP website for a complete rundown on what’s eligible.)
Other energy improvements, such as ground-source heat pumps and renewable energy systems, are covered separately under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 and qualify for a credit equal to 30% of the installed cost. There is no cap. Those incentives are scheduled to end in 2016.
Builders who produce energy-efficient homes also quality for credits of up to $2,000.