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Tips for Heating Your Home and Saving on Your Energy Bills During the Cold Weather

Friday, November 18, 2011

You still have time to make use of the energy-efficiency tax credits. If you haven’t taken advantage on the home energy-efficiency tax credits, the good news is that several federal energy tax credits originally slated to end in 2010 were extended through Dec. 31, 2011. There are now several new additional credits that remain in effect through 2016.

Here are examples of how the soon-to-expire energy tax credits work:

  • You may claim a credit for 10 percent of the total cost of various home energy-efficiency products for your existing primary residence, including: insulation; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; metal and asphalt roofs; energy-efficient windows, doors and skylights; biomass stoves and non-solar water heaters.

There are several restrictions to keep in mind:

  • The maximum combined credit is $500 (10 percent of $5,000 in total cost) for all allowable products purchased between 2006 and 2011. Thus, if you’ve already claimed credits over $500 in previous years when limits were higher, you cannot file.
  • Certain items have lower allowable tax credit maximums. For example: windows are capped at $200 in total credits; furnaces and boilers — $150 maximum (must have an annual fuel utilization rate of 95 or greater); central air conditioner — $300 maximum; water heater — $300 (within certain efficiency limits); and biomass stoves — $300.
  • You cannot claim a credit for labor costs.
  • Energy tax credits are nonrefundable, which means you can only claim a credit to offset taxes you owe for the year.
  • Tax credits may only be claimed once and are limited to the year in which you purchased the item.

Energy tax credits will be available for geothermal heat pumps, solar energy systems and wind energy systems installed at new or existing principal or second homes by Dec. 31, 2016, for 30 percent of the cost, with no upper limit. For extensive details on available tax credits on HVAC equipment, visit www.energystar.gov.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about your new HVAC equipment and energy-efficient options, please contact one of our local Norfolk HVAC dealers. For a complete list, please click here.

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