‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal Includes Tax Credits for Homeowners

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- If you thought the fiscal cliff deal was only about tax hikes on the rich and didn't have anything in it for you, think again.

There are some tax benefits in the legislation especially for homeowners. It's called the 25C tax credit, and if you're planning certain home improvements, it could put money in your pocket.

Matt Fulks of Overland Park said he's already taken advantage of the tax credits in the past when he got a new air conditioner. He also replaced the front door and garage door.

"And when we found out we could get a better door and get a tax credit, that's the one we went with," said Fulks. "And that's the same with the refrigerator or any appliance."

Operations Manager for Anthony's Plumbing Heating and Cooling Kent Gurske said the 25C tax credit can put as much as $300 in your pocket if you buy air conditioners, heat pumps or water heaters.

It's good for $150 towards furnaces and boilers, plus you can get tax credits for doors, windows, roofing, and insulation.

Gurske said having a tax credit like this helps consumers pick the more energy efficient choices.

"Typically high efficient products cost more," Gurske said, "where the tax credit helps is it makes the products affordable, which saves the homeowners more money over time because their utility bills decrease because of the high efficiency products."

The 25C tax credit is retroactive for all of 2012 and valid through the end of 2013, so Fulks said he'll have to think about whether his home needs any more new energy upgrades.

"Anytime you can get $4 or $500 for a tax credit that's huge," he said.

Here's a list of what qualifies, from the Alliance to Save Energy:

  • Insulation or insulating material -- 10 percent of cost
  • Exterior window or skylight (Meets ENERGY STAR requirements) -- 10 percent of cost, up to $200
  • Exterior door (Meets ENERGY STAR requirements) -- 10 percent of cost
  • Metal roof with pigmented coating, or asphalt roof with cooling granules (Meets ENERGY STAR requirements) -- 10 percent of cost
  • Advanced main air circulating fan (Electricity use of no more than 2% of total energy used by the furnace.) -- $50
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler (Annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rate not less than 95.) -- $150
  • Electric heat pump water heater (Energy factor of at least 2.0) -- $300
  • Electric heat pump (Meets the highest efficiency tier set by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency for 2009: SEER of at least 15, an EER of at least 12.5, and an HSPF of at least 8.5) -- $300
  • Central air conditioner (Meets the highest efficiency tier set by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency for 2009: SEER of at least 16 and an EER of at least 13 for most air conditioners.) -- $300
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil water heater (Energy factor of at least .82 or a thermal efficiency rating of at least 90%) -- $300
  • Biomass stove (Thermal efficiency rating of at least 75%. Heats a dwelling or water for use in a dwelling. Fueled by plant-derived fuel.) -- $300

In order to get these tax credits, you'll have to fill out a special form with your taxes. You can find the link to the form here.

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