Summer is a great time to tackle home improvements – and, happily, it’s not too late to receive a tax credit when making your home more energy efficient. Although significantly reduced from 2010 levels, energy-efficiency tax credits are still available in 2011.

The home energy credit applies to energy-related improvements, such as adding insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows, and energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning systems to an existing home that is your primary residence. The tax credit is not available on rental properties or new construction.

The tax credit is 10% of the cost of the home improvement, up to a maximum of $500. There is a lifetime limit of $500, so if you took a $500 credit in 2010, you do not qualify in 2011. The tax credit expires December 31, 2011.

The credit on some items have been reduced below $500:
Windows limited to $200; Energy Star qualification.
Air conditioners, water heaters, and biomass stoves limited to $300.
Furnace and boiler improvements limited to $150 and must meet certain standards.
$50 credit for advanced main air circulating fans.

Further, the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit is a nonrefundable energy tax credit that helps individual taxpayers pay for certain alternative-energy equipment, such as solar hot water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, and wind turbines. The maximum amounts for a credit equal 30% of the cost of qualified property, with no upper limit. This credit expires on December 31, 2016, and is available for new and existing homes, whether primary or second. Rentals do not qualify.

We’re happy to help you sort out the tax credits available for your home improvements this summer. Just give us a call or send us an email.