Energy-efficient improvements at home mean tax credits in 2013

Good news: You can still get tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements.

The American Taxpayer Relief Act got a lot of notice by everyone worried about the fiscal cliff, but one overlooked part of that bill was the extension of the consumer tax credit for energy-efficient improvements.

In short, the extension means that—if you have not previously claimed this credit—you can receive a tax credit of up to $500 on energy-efficiency improvements like insulation, windows, and HVAC upgrades. The upgrades can have occurred in 2012 and must be in place before 2013 ends.

The credits are as follows:

  • 10 percent of the cost of insulation.
  • 10 percent of the cost (up to $200) of qualifying exterior windows and skylights.
  • 10 percent of the cost of a qualifying exterior door.
  • 10 percent of the cost of metal and asphalt roofs specially designed to keep buildings cooler.
  • $50 for an advanced main air-circulating fan.
  • $150 for a natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler with an annual fuel utilization efficiency rate (AFUE) of 95 percent or greater.
  • $300 for an electric heat pump water heater with an energy factor of at least 2.0.
  • $300 for a highly efficient electric heat pump.
  • $300 for a highly efficient central air conditioner.
  • $300 for a natural gas, propane or oil water heater with an energy factor of at least 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent.
  • $300 for a biomass stove.

Of course, like most things tax-related, there are a few more specifications and guidelines you might need to know. Find further details at the Alliance to Save Energy website, or consult your tax advisor.