Yes, there is a home energy credit for 2006 and 2007. However it may not be all that you hoped for, though. I’m going to give you an overview. It’s a non-refundable credit with other limitations. However, don’t despair at the limitations. Remember that when you sell the house that these improvements are added to what you paid and reduce your gain on the sale of the house. So let’s start. For your personal return, it comes in two parts.
First let’s talk about the Energy Efficient Improvements. These are limited to $500 total for life. This is composed of Energy Efficient Components and Energy Efficient Building Property.
For Energy Efficient Components, the initial limitation is 10% of the cost on items such as insulation that reduces heat loss or gain and exterior windows and doors. This does include skylights and installation. Note that no more than $200 of your $500 can come from windows. It also comes with the note that you must be the first user (I suppose that’s legalese for ‘brand new’?) and that the improvement must be expected to last 5 years. Of course, if you paid enough to get the full credit I’m pretty sure that was an expectation you had, too.
Energy Efficient Building Property gets you up to $300 back. This credit is not percentage based, but has preset amounts. These include things such as Central Air Conditioning and certain water heaters. Qualifying non-electric water heaters get you up to $150, an advanced main air circulating fan can get you up to $50.
The second part gives you a bit more credit. It is also for things that cost you a bit more money: Solar and Fuel Cell equipment. Important to note up front, you don’t qualify if it is used to heat your pool or your hot tub. (Like you could afford those after the solar panels went in, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.) Solar equipment and water heaters have a 30% or $2000 cap on the credit. They can also be installed in your first or second home.
Fuel cells are more limited, they are 30% or $500 and only qualify on your main home.
For more information on these credits, you can check out the IRS news.
You may also want to check out Energy Star, a government backed program dedicated to help us improve energy efficiency to protect the environment.
Remeber, the nonbusiness energy property credit expires for property placed in service after December 31, 2007.
I hope this gives you a better handle on what this credit is all about.