Finding Energy Tax Credits For Homeowners

Homeowners who purchase high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment may benefit from legislation recently signed into law.

Last August, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The act includes the home- energy efficiency tax credit, which offers homeowners as much as $300 in tax credits with the purchase of qualified high-efficiency heating, cooling and water-heating equipment. The legislation defines the type of equipment and the amount of the credit in this way:

• High-efficiency gas, oil and propane furnaces and boilers: $150

• High-efficiency central air- conditioning units, including air-source and ground-source heat pumps: $300

• High-efficiency fans for heating and cooling systems: $50

• High-efficiency water heaters, including heat-pump water heaters: $300.

Manufacturers and retailers should be able to tell homeowners whether a specific product qualifies for a tax credit. Qualifying efficiencies identified in the bill include:

• Furnaces and boilers: Annual Fuel Use Efficiency (AFUE) of 95 or higher;

• Central air-conditioning units: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 15 and an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 12.5;

• Air-source heat pumps: Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) of 9 or greater, SEER of 15 or higher and EER of 13 or higher.

In addition to providing tax savings, these high-efficiency products will make it easier for homeowners to reduce energy consumption and lower their energy bills. To qualify for the tax credits, homeowners will need to verify the efficiency of the equipment and the date when it was placed in service. The equipment must be installed between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2007.