November 25, 2013

With 2013 coming to a close soon, we thought that it would be a good time to touch on the Federal Tax Credits for Consumer Energy Efficiency, as they expire on December 31, 2013! Have you recently remodeled? Have you changed your windows, doors, HVAC, water heater, insulation, or roof? You could qualify to  receive up to $500 of this year’s energy efficient tax credit! Here’s a quick guide to whether or not your improvements qualify…

This tax credit is reasonably straightforward, and we are providing an outline of the tax credit requirements below. All of this information has been sourced from Take a look at the actual credit on your tax returns for 2013, and discuss with whoever prepares your taxes.

Look for the following tag on your products as a guide to whether or not they can save you money. Not all Energy Star products will qualify you for this tax credit, but they all have to comply to standards that will help you save energy.

For the purpose of this blog, we are focusing on the credits that must be for an existing home and your principal residence. new construction and rentals do not qualify for the credit in this blog. There are credits for new construction available here. You can only claim this credit once, so if you tried in a past year you can’t do it ever again!

There are six product categories that qualify to receive a tax credit: Biomass Stoves, HVAC, Insulation, Roofs (metal & asphalt), Water Heaters (non-solar), and Windows & Doors. The cost of installation does not count towards these credits. Not every Energy Star qualified products qualify for a tax credit, so here are the requirements that your product needs to meet for each of the categories, and how much of a return you can get.

Energy Efficiency Federal Tax Credit Outline

(definitions for unknown acronyms can be found here)

Biomass Stoves

Requires: a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75%
Return: $300

Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning (HVAC)

There are 5 types of HVAC products that qualify:

Advanced Main Air Circulating Fan
Requirements: must use no more than 2% of the furnace’s total energy
Return: $50

Air Source Heat Pumps
Split Systems: HSPF ≥ 8.5, EER ≥ 12.5, SEER ≥ 15
Package systems: HSPF ≥ 8, EER ≥ 12, SEER ≥ 14
Return: $300

Central Air Conditioning
Split Systems: SEER ≥ 16, EER ≥ 13
Package systems:SEER ≥ 14, EER ≥ 12
Return: $150

Gas, Propane, or Oil Hot Water Boiler
Requirements: AFUE ≥ 95
Return: $150

Natural Gas, Propane, or Oil Furnace
Requirements: AFUE ≥ 95
Return: $150


Requirements: typical bulk insulation products can qualify, and products that air seal can also qualify, with a Manufacturer’s Certification Statement
Return: 10% of the cost, up to $500


Requirements: metal roofs with pigmented coatings and asphalt roofs with cooling granules (more clearly outlined in the credit itself)
Return: 10% of the cost up to $500


Water Heaters (non solar)

2 options:
Gas, Oil, Propane Water Heater
Requirements: Energy Factor ≥ 0.82 OR a thermal efficiency of at least 90%.
Return: $300

Electric Heat Pump Water Heater
Requirements: Energy Factor ≥ 2.0
Return: $300

Windows & Doors

Requirements: Must be Energy Star qualified; you don’t have to replace all the windows in your home to qualify, and if you remodel and add a window where there previously was not one, that window new window DOES qualify.
Return: 10% of the cost up to $500 – BUT windows are capped at $200

Published November 25, 2013 | By