2009 Tax Breaks For Going Green

Are you ready to install solar panels or a wind turbine at your house? How about adding insulation or installing more energy efficient windows? 2009 may just be the year to take the plunge, thanks to some new, extended and improved tax credits.

Details can vary depending on your project but energy efficient home improvements including replacement windows (capped at $200), insulation (10% of the cost, capped at $500), sealing cracks in the shell of your house and in the duct work, and energy efficient water heaters and furnaces (capped at $300) can get you some very helpful tax credits.

The existent tax credit for installing solar panels was extended for 2009 giving you a 30% credit against the cost of your equipment with the previous $2,000 cap removed. Solar water heating systems are eligible for credits of up to $2,000.

Also included for 2009 are tax credits for wind turbines (up to a maximum of $4,000), home fuel cells (30% of system costs), geothermal heat pumps (up to $2,000), and “biomass” stoves up to $300.

There’s even a credit for plug-in hybrid electric cars ($2,500 – $7,500). Interestingly, although credits for gasoline-electric hybrids are still in effect, Toyota and Honda hybrids are not included. Certain light-duty diesel vehicles are also eligible in 2009.

In most cases, tax credits are offered against equipment costs, not installation costs.

Your state may also be offering tax incentives, so be sure and check all avenues and read all the fine print. Remember, a lot of these incentives are included in the struggling to pass stimulus package and things are changing daily, so do your research!

While not an offer to fund your energy efficient home upgrades, these tax incentives may be just what you need to push your project over the edge to affordable in 2009!

I’m adding some insulation and looking at solar panels for my house. What’s on your list?

An original 5 Minutes for Going Green post. You can read more of what Mary is thinking about at SimplyForties or you can follow her on Twitter.

And remember, the Bummas Giveaway is going on until Sunday March 1st at 7pm EST, and all you have to do to enter is comment on the giveaway post with a valid email address; if you haven’t entered yet, what are you waiting for?

3 Responses to 2009 Tax Breaks For Going Green
  1. Darren (Green Change)
    February 19, 2009 | 6:43 am

    Nice! It’s good to make the most of these rebates – not only does it save you money, but it sends a message to the government that people care. If they see lots of people taking up the rebate, they’ll realise there are votes in “that environment stuff”. :-)

    For any Australians reading, I’ve posted a list of our federal and state rebate schemes here:


  2. Mike
    February 21, 2009 | 4:59 pm

    It’s also super important to ask if what you are buying qualifies. We just bought windows from Window Universe and luckily we chose a glass option that meets the strict criteria requiring a U value and SHGC of 0.30 or less, but we had some other contractors that didn’t have windows that would make the cut. Also, the Stimulus Bill increased the tax credit from 10% to 30% (up to $1,500). There is some good info on their website.

    Plus, this company gets it! They plant a tree for every job they install and use recycled paper.

  3. Mary (Simply Forties)
    February 22, 2009 | 8:32 pm

    Darren – Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’m glad you liked the article. It’s good to know that there is some actual pay back for doing the right thing!

    Mike – Thank you so much for the additional information. I second your recommendation to check everything first. I’m certainly not a tax person!