Can You Get Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency in 2013?

February 8, 2013 Written by  Brianna Breach Comments Print
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Did you know that spending on energy efficiency programs funded by U.S. electric and natural gas utility customers will double by 2025 to about $9.5 billion per year, according to a new report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)?

What does that mean for you? More opportunity for energy savings with new ideas and technology to follow. But before we start with what’s ahead, let’s take a look at what’s currently available to you. Whether you’re a residential homeowner or commercial building owner or tenant, if you’ve taken energy efficiency measures in 2012 you may be eligible for a tax credit this April.

According to The Energy Collective, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, (also called the “fiscal cliff bill”), extends tax incentives for those who updated their energy appliances last year or even in 2013. Homeowners and commercial building owners have the opportunity to receive as much as 10% of the cost of the energy efficiency measures they implemented in 2012-2013.

Homeowners who implemented any of the following energy efficiency measures in 2012 or 2013 qualify for tax incentives:

  • Insulation
  • Windows and/or window films
  • Duct sealing
  • Air infiltration reduction
  • Central air conditioners
  • Heat pumps
  • Water heaters
  • Roofs
  • Appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washers, etc.

Appliances must be approved as efficient in order for homeowners to be eligible. Homeowners seeking tax credits for energy efficiency must retain a copy of certification from the manufacturer. More information about qualifying appliances can be found at The Green Destination.

Homeowners can file IRS form 5695 with their 2012 or 2013 taxes to apply for their tax credit. More details on this personal tax credit are available here.

Commercial building owners or tenants of commercial buildings are eligible for tax credits similar to those who own single family homes. Owners or tenants may receive up to $1.80 per square foot of the building or unit if constructed or reconstructed to save 50% or more of the energy cost of:

  • Heating and cooling
  • Ventilation
  • Water heating
  • Interior lighting

Like owners of single-family homes, building owners or tenants must retain certification. They must also comply with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2001.

While the post thus far has only focused on federal tax incentives, we want to make you aware that there is SO much more out there in terms of incentives that makes the tax breaks mere sprinkles on the ice cream sundae that are energy efficiency rebates and incentives, especially in states with progressive energy policies like Maryland. is the go to resource that contains information about all federal, state and local incentives for energy efficiency and renewables across the whole country.

Click the link to view our recent blog Plug into the Smart Grid or check back next week for more energy saving tips.