Time Running Out for Energy Tax Credits

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Product review
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As the end of the year nears, remember that all those energy tax credits will disappear. You still have a month or so to claim up to $1,500 in tax credits for replacement windows, insulation, energy efficient furnaces and other items. If you’re confused by what is included, check out this overview from AARP.org.

Energy Tax Credits: What’s Not Included

One important note is that the energy tax credits do not include the cost of installation. So, any contractor fees for removing your old windows and installing new ones is on you. That’s the tricky part, as we realized when buying replacement windows this fall. The contractor fee was an additional $2,000 for all the work. The fee was reasonable, but we still had to come up with the money.

Here are some frequently asked questions from Energystar.com.

Energy Efficient Products: When to Install

If you can’t afford the installation now, consider buying the energy efficient products and waiting until next year for installation. Just make sure you:

  • Can afford them next year. You don’t want products sitting around for years waiting to be installed.
  • Discuss the plan with the contractor. Be upfront and make sure the contractor knows you won’t need the installation right away.
  • Have the contractor do accurate measurements.
  • Get any relevant paperwork from the replacement windows supplier (or wherever you buy the products). You’ll need to file paperwork with the IRS in April.

It’s great to add energy efficient products to your home, but you also need a reality check. Can you afford it–now and in six months when it’s time to install them? If you’re planning to sell soon, talk with a real estate agent about whether you’ll recoup most of the cost. Tax credits are great, but it’s not a free lunch either.

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  1. 2 Responses to “Time Running Out for Energy Tax Credits”

  2. jamie
    Nov 30, 2010

    These tax credits were great and I hope that Congress brings them back sometime in the future. Energy efficiency needs some gov’t help! A worthwhile place to spend our tax dollars.

  3. Carol
    Dec 3, 2010

    While tax credits have been great, you definitely have to consider the excluded items. Making a checklist of everything involved will help to realize the actual cost.

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