Energy Tax Credits Extended but Reduced in 2011
Update: the latest energy tax credit details have now been released.
Energy Tax Credit Changes in 2011
There is a home Energy Tax Credit this year, it’s just not half what it used to be. Literally. The 2009 and 2010 Energy Tax Credits were very generous as they were part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, and were created to help spur the economy through people making home upgrades to get the credits. These tax credits were actually extended as part of the Obama tax cut deal, but now that we’ve ‘recovered’, the generosity trails off a bit in 2011. Here are the details:
- The 2011 Energy Tax Credit amount: drops to 10% of a project and $500 max. For comparison, last year’s credit capped out at 30% of a project up to a max of $1,500.
- Energy Star window tax credit: up to $200 maximum.
- Water heater tax credit (includes electric, natural gas, propane, or oil): up to $300 maximum.
- Air conditioner tax credit: up to $300 maximum.
- Insulation, doors, and roof credits: up to the $500 cap.
- Furnace tax credit (includes natural gas, propane, oil, or hot water): $150 maximum. Efficiency must be 95% (up from 90% before the extension).
The big kicker: If you’ve already taken advantage of the Energy Tax Credit, whatever you claimed in the past counts against the $500 in 2011.
Before you buy anything, make sure your product qualifies for the credit and verify how much credit you will receive.
30% Energy Tax Credits Through 2016
While the energy tax credits for most common house projects have lost their luster a bit, those with big investment plans can still celebrate. There is still a 30% tax credit with no maximum limit for the following installations:
- geothermal heat pumps
- solar energy systems
- small wind turbines
- fuel cells ($500 max limit)
For more on these tax credits, check out the EnergyStar Energy Tax Credit site.