Due to recent events in the U.S. economy, many Americans are looking for more ways to save money. If you are a homeowner and intend to stay in your home for at least 5 to 10 years, one way to save more of your money is to invest in energy-efficient windows for your home. These may include skylights, exterior windows and storm windows. Not only will you cut heating and cooling costs, provide more saturating light in your home and increase your home’s value, but you may qualify for a federal energy tax credit of 30% of cost, up to $1500, as detailed in The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Before You Buy
Prior to purchasing your new windows, be sure you understand what windows will qualify for the tax credit. To qualify for the tax credit, your windows must be replaced between February 17, 2009 and December 31, 2010, and meet the U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) requirements. Visit Energystar.gov for more information regarding these specifications. Here, you will also find criteria for selecting a contractor to install your replacement windows. If you don’t already have someone in mind, ask friends and family for references. Once you’ve located a contractor, ask them for customer references, and then contact the customers. Also, be sure to compare prices among your local contractors to find the best deal.
Buying Your Windows
Your energy-efficient, replacement windows should come with a manufacturer’s certification statement. Hold onto this as it verifies that your windows do qualify as being energy efficient. You may need to present this to the IRS if audited. If you cannot locate the manufacturer’s certificate or you lose it, you can find it at the manufacturer’s website online. Keep all receipts related to the purchase and installation of your replacement windows so they can easily be accessed when tax time comes.
Claiming your Energy Tax Credit
To claim your energy tax credit, download IRS Form 5695 and fill it out, then attach it to your 1040. Submit by April 15. Contact the IRS or a tax professional if you have any questions. You may qualify for additional rebates through your utilities company. Visit Energystar.gov for more information.
Other Energy Efficient Improvements
Energy-efficient insulation, doors, roofing, air conditioning, furnaces, water heaters, biomass stoves, geo-thermal heat pumps, solar energy systems, small wind energy systems, fuel cells and cars may qualify for a federal energy tax credit.