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Directory: Green U.S. Tax Breaks

Lasted edited by Andrew Munsey, updated on June 15, 2016 at 12:48 am.

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Page first featured March 12, 2009

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How has the new Stimulus bill affected the tax credits for energy efficient home improvements?:

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.


"Here is a rundown of the tax breaks a homeowner may receive for making green upgrades to their house.

Exterior Windows and Skylights:

As long as the U factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient exceed .30, you can claim 30% or up to $1,500 dollars on new exterior windows and skylights.

Storm Windows:

You can get a 30% or up to $1,500 dollar tax break on your storm windows, but they must reach Internal Energy Code Conservation Standards for your climate zone. This is in conjunction with your exterior windows. Make sure to ask for a Manufacturer's Certification Statement when you purchase storm windows.

Exterior Doors:

As long as the U factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient exceed .30, you can claim 30% or up to $1,500 dollars on exterior doors.

Storm Doors:

You get the same deal on storm doors that you get on storm windows. All standards and certifications are the same.

Metal or Asphalt Roof:

By installing an Energy Star metal or asphalt roof, you can reclaim 30% or $1,500 dollars. Your roof must be expected to last five years (It should last longer. Everyone here hopes so.) or have a two-year warranty.


If your insulation meets 2009 IECC standards and is expected to last five years or comes with a two-year warranty, you can reclaim 30% or $1,500 smackers. The biggest source of home energy usage is heating and cooling. Take advantage of this one.

Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps:

You can get a 30%/up to $1,500 rebate on your air conditioner or heat pump if it meets certain qualifications. Check out the directory of qualifying AC units and Heat Pumps.

Furnaces and Boilers:

The infamous 30%/up to $1,500 rebate is back again for furnaces and boilers. Check out the Gas Appliance Manufacturing Association's directory of qualified units. You'll also find advanced main air circulating fans on that list. As long as the fan uses no more than 2% of your furnace's energy, you are qualified for a 30%/$1500 tax break on that as well.

Geo-Thermal Heat Pump:

All Energy Star geo-thermal heat pumps are eligible for the obligatory 30%/$1500 tax break. They must be placed into service between Jan, 1 2008 thru December, 31st 2016. So don’t procrastinate that much.

Water Heaters:

All oil, gas and propane water heaters are entitled for the ubiquitous 30%/$1500 tax break if they have an energy factor greater than .82 or have 90% thermal efficiency. All Energy Star electric heat pump water heaters are qualified for the same tax break.

Biomass Stove:

A biomass stove with a 75% thermal heating efficiency rating can net you a rebate of 30% of cost or up to $1,500.

Solar Water Heating:

You can reclaim up to 30% of cost on your solar water heater. There are, however, strings attached

At least half of the energy generated by the "qualifying property" must come from the sun. Homeowners may only claim spending on the solar water heating system property, not the entire water heating system of the household. The credit is not available for expenses for swimming pools or hot tubs. The water must be used in the dwelling. The system must be certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC). Must be placed in service before December 31, 2016.

Photovoltaic Systems:

You can reclaim up to 30% of your cost on photovoltaic systems as long as they provide electricity for the home and meet fire and electrical code standards.

Wind Energy Systems:

Recoup 30% of cost on a wind energy system.

Residential Fuel Cell and microturbine system:

A homeowner is eligible for a 30% rebate on RFC micro turbine system as long as it can generate .5 kWh. However, you get a 30% rebate per .5 kWh.

Plug In Electric Hybrids:

You can get a $2,500-$7,500 rebate on a plug-in electric car. This deal is only good for the first $250,000 buyers." (Green Your Home, Get a Tax Break)

Chart of Tax Credits USA

Energy Star Federal Tax Credits Summary Sheet


See Talk:Directory: Green U.S. Tax Breaks

See also

Directory:U.S. Government and Energy

- Directory