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Home Energy Tax Credits

Who doesn’t like their home to be a comfortable temperature? I do! As I get older, I seem to like it warmer. That costs more money in the winter but saves in the summer. For others, it is the exact opposite, colder means less cost in the winter and more costs in the summer. Either way, almost all of us use heaters and air conditioners, but how efficient are they and how efficient is our house in general? Well, Congress included some goodies in a bill passed a year ago.


Basically, a taxpayer can claim up to $1,200 of non-refundable tax credits on all “Qualified Energy Efficiency Improvements,” which includes a maximum credit of $150 for what is called a “Home Energy Audit.”


Normal “energy improvements” include upgrading insulation, exterior doors, windows, air conditioners, furnaces, water heaters, and boilers.


The maximum annual energy tax credit goes up to $2,000 per year if the expenditures are for heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, biomass stoves and biomass boilers.


There is also a separate non-refundable credit for “Residential Clean Energy” which is 30% of whatever you spend on Solar electric panels, solar water heaters, wind turbines, geothermal heat pumps, fuel cells, and battery storage.


These credits benefit renters too, if they are willing to spend their money on the rental they live in.


So, what is a “Home Energy Audit?” It is an inspection and written report with respect to a dwelling unit located in the U.S. that is owned or used by the taxpayer as their principal residence. That means it could be a home that the taxpayer is renting.


The written report must identify the most significant and cost-effective energy efficiency improvements on the home, including an estimate of the energy and cost savings from the suggested improvements. Lastly, this “audit” must be performed by a business that meets certain certification requirements. That report must be signed by the “auditor”, have their name, EIN, and attest that they are certified by a qualified certification program, and listing that “program.” (If you have the report done in 2023, it doesn’t have to be signed nor have the auditor’s personal information on it.)


Need some part time income? Consider becoming a “qualified home energy auditor.” Go to www.energy.gov/eere/buildings/us-department-energy-recognized-home-energy-auditor-qualified-certification-programs.


Normally, these reports cost about $500 to the homeowner. Anything over that will not get you a larger tax credit.


Have you heard? Ecclesiastes 9:10a says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.”


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