Real Estate Advisor: October

Let Uncle Sam Help Pay for Energy Efficiency Improvements

The $8,000 New Home Buyer Tax Credit (along with the Cash-for-Clunkers) may have dominated the headlines recently, but some energy efficiency Tax Credits offered by the federal government could be even more useful for the average homeowner. You may be eligible for a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the cost of materials (up to $1,500) for certain products purchased between January 1, 2009 and December 31st, 2010.

Below are the rating specifications for eligible energy efficiency products:

Product CategoryProduct TypeTax Credit Specification
InsulationInsulationMeets 2009 IECC & Amendments
Windows & DoorsWindows, Doors, and SkylightsBefore June 1, 2009:
Must meet ENERGY STAR criteria

After June 1, 2009:
U factor <= 0.30

SHGC <= 0.30
Storm Windows & Storm DoorsIn combination with the exterior window over which it is installed:
  1. has a U-factor and SHGC of 0.30 or below
  2. Meets the IECC
RoofingMetal Roofs,
Asphalt Roofs
All ENERGY STAR qualified metal and reflective asphalt shingles
HVACCentral A/CSplit Systems:
SEER >= 16, EER >=13

Package systems:
SEER >= 14, EER >= 12
Air Source Heat PumpsSplit Systems:
HSPF >= 8.5, EER >= 12.5, SEER >= 15

Package systems:
HSPF >= 8, EER >= 12, SEER >= 14
Natural Gas or Propane Furnace

AFUE >= 95

Oil Furnace

AFUE >= 90

Gas, Propane, or Oil Hot Water Boiler

AFUE >= 90

Advanced Main Air Circulating FanNo more than 2% of furnace total energy use.
Water HeatersGas, Oil, Propane Water HeaterEnergy Factor >= 0.82
or a thermal efficiency of at least 90%.
Electric Heat Pump Water HeaterSame criteria as ENERGY STAR: Energy Factor >= 2.0
Biomass StoveBiomass Stove

Stove which burns biomass fuel to heat a home or heat water.

Thermal efficiency rating of at least 75% as measured using a lower heating value.

Extended Opportunities: The following upgrades are eligible for a 30% of cost tac credit (without an upper limit) if placed into service before December 31st, 2016:
Geo-Thermal Heat PumpGeo-Thermal Heat Pump

Same criteria as ENERGY STAR:

Closed Loop:
EER >= 14.1, COP >= 3.3

Open Loop:
EER >= 16.2, COP >= 3.6

Direct Expansion:
EER >= 15, COP >= 3.5

Solar Energy SystemsSolar Water Heating

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).

Photovoltaic SystemsPhotovoltaic systems must provide electricity for the residence, and must meet applicable fire and electrical code requirement.
Small Wind Energy SystemsResidential Small Wind TurbinesHas nameplate capacity of not more than 100 kilowatts.
Fuel CellsResidential Fuel Cell and microturbine system

Efficiency of at least 30% and must have a capacity of at least 0.5 kW.



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