To qualify for the credit, the energy-efficient product must be installed in the taxpayer’s primary, owned residence, and must have an expected life span of at least five years. Usually, labor costs don’t count toward tax-credit eligibility.
Also, each improvement must meet government energy-efficiency ratings. For example, a natural gas, propane or oil water heater must have an “energy factor” of at least 0.82 or a thermal efficiency rating of at least 90 percent. A biomass stove, meanwhile, would need a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent. For more information, visit energystar.gov.
Another source of help would be a certified tax accountant.
Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Follow her on Twitter at @Angie — Hicks.
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