Tax Credits
Tax credits
Claim home energy tax credits for 2010

2011 credit reduced

The residential energy credit is around for 2011 as well, but it's not as generous. In fact, this year the credit amounts reverted to the previous, smaller claim amounts.

In addition, the claim process is again more complicated. The improvement categories remain essentially the same, but the credit now follows the 2005 guidelines under which specific improvements qualify for differing credit amounts.

Eligible energy-efficient home improvements in 2011
Product categoryTax credit amount
Windows, doors and skylights10 percent of the cost, up to $500, but windows are capped at $200.
Insulation10 percent of the cost, up to $500.
Roofing, metal and asphalt10 percent of the cost, up to $500.
Biomass stovesSystems that burn biomass fuel to heat a home or heat water, up to $300.
HVACAdvanced main air circulating fan, up to $50;
Central A/C and air source heat pump, up to $500;
Gas, oil, propane furnace or hot water boiler, up to $150.
Water heatersGas, oil, propane water heater, up to $300.
Electric heat pump water heater, up to $300.

The 2011 home energy improvement credit claim requirements are the same as for 2010 tax credit claims.

And these credits also are temporary. They are scheduled to expire Dec. 31, 2011. But that's not the end of credits for all home-related energy improvements.

More improvements, more credit, longer

If you made or plan to make energy-efficient improvements that are more advanced -- and more costly -- you might be able to claim an even larger tax credit.

The 2009 stimulus bill included credit provisions that apply to geothermal heat pumps, solar water heating, photovoltaic systems and small wind turbines.

These systems are eligible for a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the cost, including installation. In these cases, though, there is no maximum credit cap. Your total expenses count as your credit.

This tax break is in effect for qualifying residential systems installed by Dec. 31, 2016.

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