The Citizens Utility Board in Chicago announced some important news about new federal tax credits for homeowners. The tax credits increased this year for homeowners who make energy efficient or renewable energy upgrades to their homes. Energy efficient foam insulation is one of the products that can help you to qualify, and since most of our clients are making other energy-conscious improvements as well, we would like to let you know how to take full advantage of these new tax credits. There are several types of tax credits for homeowners, so we will walk you through each one.

Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit

When to Act: Make energy efficient improvements to your home between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.

  • Also: Green improvements made in 2006 and 2007 can be written off up to $500

How Much Tax Credit: 30% of the cost of improvements, including installation labor costs, up to $1500.

How Do You Qualify:

  • Your home must be located in the United States
  • Your home is considered your primary residence
  • You improved your home’s efficiency or installed energy efficient equipment (see below)
  • You plan to use these energy efficient improvements for at least five years

Acceptable Improvements:

(See for more specifics)

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Insulation
  • Metal & Asphalt Roofs
  • HVAC Equipment
  • Water Heaters
  • Biomass Stoves

Important Note:

Federal tax credit for solar panels, geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, fuel cells, and wind power installations is available for homeowners building new homes only. Those building new homes are not eligible for the above list of acceptable improvements including doors, insulation, roofs, and energy star windows tax credit. However, we highly recommend having all energy efficient appliances installed due to the energy savings that you will receive over time.

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

When to Act: Before 2016

How Much Tax Credit: 30% of the cost, with no upper limit. Includes assembly and installation labor costs

How Do You Qualify:

  • Your house is located in the United States
  • This house is used by you as a residence
  • You install one of the acceptable systems (see below)

Acceptable Renewable Energy Systems:

  • Solar Panels
  • Solar Water Heaters
  • Small Wind Power
  • Fuel Cell Systems
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps

For more information on either of these homeowner tax credit programs, please or or discuss with a tax professional to make sure that these credits are applied to your tax forms.

Energy Efficient and Renewable Energy Mortgages

If you qualify for either of the above tax credits for homeowners, you might also qualify for a larger mortgage. Mortgages come in many shapes and sizes, depending on your situation. Here we have provided some useful links for you to explore to see if you might be eligible for an energy-related mortgage:

Federal Housing Authority energy efficient mortgages

Housing and Urban DevelopmentEnergy Efficiency Tax Credits for Homeowners

Department of Veteran Affairs energy efficient mortgages