On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed a stimulus bill (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that made some significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits. The highlights are:
* The tax credits that were previously effective for 2009, have been extended to 2010 as well.
* The tax credit has been raised from 10% to 30%.
* The tax credits that were for a specific dollar amount (ex $300 for a CAC), have been converted to 30% of the cost.
* The maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1500 for the two years (2009-2010). However, some improvements such as geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and solar panels are not subject to the $1,500 maximum.
* The $200 cap on windows has been removed.
Tax Credits for Consumers:
Tax credits are now available for home improvements:
* must be "placed in service" from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010
* must be for taxpayers principal residence
* maximum amount is $1,500 in 2009 & 2010 for most home improvements (geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, solar panels, fuel cells, and windmills are not subject to this cap)
* for record keeping, save your receipts and the Manufacturer Certification Statement, OR for windows, you can save the ENERGY STAR label from your new windows
* improvements made in 2009 will be claimed on your 2009 taxes (filed by April 15, 2010) - use IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) - it will be available late 2009 or early 2010
* If you are building a new home, you can qualify for the tax credit for photovoltaics, solar water heaters, small wind systems and fuel cells, but not the tax credits for windows, doors, insulation, roofs, HVAC, or non-solar water heaters. More.
Tax Deductions for Commercial Buildings:
A tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot is available to owners or designers of new or existing commercial buildings that save at least 50% of the heating and cooling energy of a building that meets ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001. Partial deductions of up to $.60 per square foot can be taken for measures affecting any one of three building systems: the building envelope, lighting, or heating and cooling systems. These tax deductions are available for systems "placed in service" from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2013.