Energy tax credits explained

Homeowners who are looking into getting an energy efficient makeover before the winter months can benefit by knowing the advantages and qualifications of the federal energy efficiency tax credits available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 first established the energy efficiency tax credits that were effective in 2006 and 2007. The following year, former President Bush signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (also known as the “Bailout Bill”) to put many of the tax credits back in place for 2009, and increased the credit to 30%, up to $1,500.
In February of this year President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (also known as the “Stimulus Bill”) which among other changes extended the tax credits to 2010.
Home Improvement Expert Mike Loughery with Certainteed Corporation, a leader in Building Science and manufacturs of building products, says that homeowners can improve their home energy efficiency while taking advantage of the tax credits. But for some, just trying to make sense of the information is the first step. “One of the things that we learned early on this year, when the Federal tax credits were announced as part of the American Reinvestment Act, is that there’s a lot of information out there that is hard for people to make sense of.
What we’ve tried to do at CertainTeed is to just create web pages to help people make sense of all of it. What are the products that are eligible and how do you find how to claim the tax credit?”
So how does this work?
According to Lochery, the government will give you up to a 30% tax credit right off your tax bill. “You can subtract $1500 off of your tax bill by making certain energy efficient home improvements. If you put a new roof on and the material is $5000, thirty percent of that is $1500.”
Whether you’re a do-it-yourself-er, or you’re hiring a contractor, Loughery says the credits are based on the cost of the product purchased. “If you go to your local home improvement store and buy your insulation, for example, be sure to save the receipt. It’s based on the product, not the installation.”
Lochery says if you hire a contractor, be sure and ask him for the receipt of the purchase of the product.
Homeowners are advised to go to the website and click on to “Tax credits for energy efficiency.” There you’ll find a list of all the products that qualify for tax credit as well as recommendations that can keep your home more comfortable and energy efficient just in time for winter.