Skip Navigation

The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are! The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Solar Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in the summer of 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new DSIRE and are unfortunately only able to make minimal updates to the DSIRE website at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for using DSIRE.

US Department Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
IREC North Carolina Solar Center
Home Glossary Links FAQs Contact About Twitter    Facebook
Federal

Federal

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit   

Last DSIRE Review: 01/04/2013
Program Overview:
State: Federal
Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit
Eligible Efficiency Technologies: Water Heaters, Furnaces , Boilers, Heat pumps, Central Air conditioners, Building Insulation, Windows, Roofs, Circulating fans used in a qualifying furnace
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Biomass, Stoves that use qualified biomass fuel
Applicable Sectors: Residential
Amount:Purchases made in 2011, 2012, or 2013: Varies (see below)
Maximum Incentive:For purchases made in 2011, 2012, and 2013: Aggregate amount of credit is limited to $500. Taxpayer is ineligible for this tax credit if this credit has already been claimed by the taxpayer in an amount of $500 in any previous year.

For purchases made in 2009 or 2010: Aggregate amount of credit for all technologies placed in service in 2009 and 2010 combined is limited to $1,500
Equipment Requirements:Equipment must be new and in compliance with all applicable performance and safety standards as described in tax code
Start Date:1/1/2006
Expiration Date:12/31/2013
Web Site: http://www.energystar.gov/taxcredits
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Expiration Date:
26 USC ยง 25C
8/8/2005 (subsequently amended)
1/1/2006
12/31/2013
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
Expiration Date:
H.R. 8 (American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012)
01/02/2013
01/02/2013
12/31/2013
Authority 3:
IRS Form 5695 & Instructions: Residential Energy Credits
Summary:

Note: This tax credit expired at the end of 2011. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 retroactively renewed this tax credit effective January 1, 2012, expiring again on December 31, 2013.  Any qualified equipment installed in 2012 or 2013 is eligible for this credit. As in previous years, the cumulative maximum amount of tax credit that can be claimed by a taxpayer in all years combined is $500. If a taxpayer has already claimed a tax credit of $500 for purchases made in any previous year, they are ineligible for additional tax credits for any new equipment purchases.   

This credit applies to energy efficiency improvements in the building envelope of existing homes and for the purchase of high-efficiency heating, cooling and water-heating equipment. Efficiency improvements or equipment must serve a dwelling in the United States that is owned and used by the taxpayer as a primary residence. The maximum tax credit for all improvements made in 2011, 2012, and 2013 is $500. The cap includes tax credits for any improvements made in any previous year. If a taxpayer claimed $500 or more of these tax credits in any previous year, any purchases made in 2011, 2012, or 2013 will be ineligible for a tax credit.

Building Envelope Improvements
Owners of existing homes may receive a tax credit worth 10% of the cost of upgrading the efficiency of the building's envelope. Installation (labor) costs are not included and the credit is capped at $500 for all improvements. To be eligible for the credit, the improvement must meet the prescriptive requirements established for it under the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (including supplements). The following improvements are eligible for the tax credit:

  • Insulation materials and systems designed to reduce a home's heat loss or gain
  • Exterior doors and windows (including skylights) --- no more than $200 in total credits can be claimed for windows in years 2006 - 2013
  • Pigmented metal roofs designed to reduce heat gain, and asphalt roofs with appropriate cooling granules.


Heating, Cooling and Water-Heating Equipment
Taxpayers who purchase qualified residential energy-efficient property may eligible for a tax credit. The credit is equal to the full cost of the equipment up to the following caps:

  • Advanced main air circulating fan: $50
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler with an annual fuel utilization rate of 95 or greater: $150
  • Electric heat pump water heater with an energy factor of at least 2.0: $300
  • Electric heat pump which achieves the highest efficiency tier established by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency: $300
  • Central air conditioner which achieves the highest efficiency tier established by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency: $300
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil water heater which has either an energy factor of at least 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent: $300
  • Biomass stoves that use "plant-derived fuel available on a renewable or recurring basis, including agricultural crops and trees, wood and wood waste and residues (including wood pellets), plants (including aquatic plants), grasses, residues, and fibers": $300



Background
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 established the tax credit for energy improvements to existing homes. The credit was originally limited to purchases made in 2006 and 2007, with an aggregate cap of $500 for all qualifying purchases made in these two years combined. There were also separate individual caps for the different equipment types. The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424: Div. B, Sec. 302) of 2008 reinstated the credit for 2009 purchases and made other minor adjustments. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 further extended the credit to include improvements made in 2010 and replaced the $500 aggregate cap with a $1,500 aggregate cap for improvements made in 2009 and 2010. This credit was again renewed in 2010 for improvements made in 2011, but the credit was reduced to its original form and original cap of $500.

This credit was unavailble for purchases made in 2012. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 retroactively renewed this tax credit effective January 1, 2012, expiring again on December 31, 2013.

Geothermal heat pumps were originally eligible for this credit, with a $300 cap. However, geothermal heat pumps are now eligible for the residential renewable energy tax credit, with no cap.


 
Contact:
  Public Information - IRS
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20224
Phone: (800) 829-1040
Web Site: http://www.irs.gov
NCSU - home
Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.