Tim Robinson

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services

1495 Warren Road
Lakewood, OH 44107

Cell: 440-552-4677   
Phone: 440-552-4677 
Fax: 216-221-1956

Housing Trends

December 2018

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How to Get Energy-Saving Tax Credits for Your Home

One of the biggest costs in maintaining your home is your energy bill, and this is a great time to make home improvements to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Why?

First of all, even modest improvements like replacing weatherstripping around doors and caulking around windows can save you money.

Better yet, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes several new and expanded tax credits homeowners can take advantage of while increasing their home’s energy efficiency.

To qualify for tax credits, improvements must typically be made on the owner’s primary residence, although some items can be claimed for second homes. Improvements must be placed in service from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2010.

For the following home improvements, a household can earn a tax credit for 30 percent of the improvement cost – up to $1,500 total for all improvements made:

• Windows and doors including energy-efficient skylights, storm windows, exterior windows, storm doors and exterior doors;
• Roofing and insulation, including metal or asphalt shingles;
• Heating and cooling systems including energy-efficient central A/C units, oil and gas furnaces; and
• Water heaters including energy-efficient gas, oil, or propane water heaters and electric heat-pump water heaters.

Homeowners must do their homework before making any energy-saving purchases, because not all products qualify for a tax credit – even products with an ENERGY STAR seal. (ENERGY STAR is the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for energy-efficient consumer products.) A full list of qualifying home improvements and other information is available online at: energystar.gov/taxcredits.

What about choosing a company or contractor to do the improvements? Online services such as Angie’s List® can help you find high-quality contractors and service companies, rated by consumers who have used them.

The Better Business Bureau recommends you check the company or contractor out with the online BBB Reliability Reports, which will tell you if the business has a good rating and is accredited by BBB.

In addition, homeowners should get several estimates for projects and understand they do not have to use any specific contractor to take advantage of the tax credits. The BBB also suggests you check with a tax professional or the IRS Web site to confirm products are eligible for the tax credit.

Remodeling cost versus value

Finally, replacement projects such as roofing and windows are some of the best values for recouping your money when you sell your home.

The 2008 Cost vs. Value Report, the most recent report done by Remodeling and REALTOR® magazines, gives some of the “payback” percentages:

• Upscale vinyl-window replacement – 79.2%
• Midrange wood-window replacement – 77.7%
• Midrange vinyl-window replacement – 77.2%
• Upscale wood-window replacement – 76.5%
• Midrange roofing replacement – 65.5%
• Upscale roofing replacement – 63.0%

Save money on your energy bill today, save money on your tax bill tomorrow, and recover a portion of your project cost when you sell your home in the future. It’s no wonder energy-efficient home improvements are a great investment!

Written by CJ Yeoman