2011 may be the last year in which you can qualify for some nice energy tax credits. If you missed replacing your HVAC system in 2010, you already lost $1000 in potential credits because the maximum 2011 credit is now $500 versus $1, 500 a year ago. Congress extended the energy tax credits through the end of 2011 for eligible projects, so now is the time to work on your home energy-efficiency plan. It would be important to review the energy tax credit eligibility to see what the maximum credits are for various projects. Also, projects completed in prior years for which no credits were claimed may still qualify in 2011.
Generally, energy-efficient windows, insulation and many other types of home improvements may qualify for a tax credit if they are assigned an Energy Star certification which is designated by the Department of Energy. Larger projects, such as the installation of solar-energy systems, are eligible for much larger credits as much as 30% of the cost of the project (these credits are good through 2016). If your project doesn’t qualify for a tax credit, be sure to check with your state as many offer rebates on specific energy-efficiency projects. The time for federal tax credits and state rebates is growing short. And remember, a tax credit is a dollar for dollar reduction of your owed taxes.