Tax season is the perfect time to bring up some good news and excellent reasons to make sustainable upgrades to your residential properties. Two related tax breaks, both products of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, are available to all property owners. The first – generically named the Residential Energy Property Credit – is the more general tax break which covers 30% of the cost (up to $1,500) for certain heating and cooling systems and water heaters, along with their related installation costs. Also covered are energy efficient windows, doors, insulation, and certain roofing materials – installation is not included for these items. In most cases qualifying products will have to bear the Energy Star designation.
The more robust program called the “Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit”, offers a tax break of 30%, including installation and with no maximum, for solar thermal panels, photovoltaic panels, geothermal pumps, and/or wind turbines. This credit is good through 2016 and may be combined with the aforementioned Energy Credit. It is important to note, however, that any upgrades are not fully effective unless they are combined with an efficient building orientation, design and envelope.
More information available on the always enlightening IRS website, or talk to us.