As you're filing your taxes this season, don't forget that you may be eligible for a number of federal tax credits for energy-efficient upgrades you made in your home over the last year. The American Taxpayer Relief Act, which was part of the fiscal cliff deal, includes a couple of key incentives that can be retroactively applied to purchases made in 2012. If you've invested in green technology recently, you may be able to get some money back.
In a recent article, Consumer Reports highlighted some of the energy-efficient upgrades that qualify for 2012 tax credits. Let's take a look at a few:
Doors and windows – If you replaced a door or window or installed one in a new space, you can gain back 10 percent of the cost up to $500 (windows are capped at $200) as long as it is Energy Star-qualified.
Non-solar water heaters – Water heaters you have purchased with an Energy Factor of at least 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of 90 percent may make you eligible to receive a $300 tax credit.
Roofs – For metal and asphalt roofs that are made from the appropriate materials – either pigmented coatings or cooling granules – and meet Energy Star requirements, you can get a 10 percent tax credit up to $500.
To claim these tax credits, you'll need to file IRS form 5695, which you can find here.
These offers extend through December 2013, which means that you can enjoy these incentives for any energy-efficient upgrades you make this year when you fill out your 2014 tax forms. With this in mind, now might be a great time to think about investing in green technology. To get started, contact a home inspection contractor. They can perform an energy audit and help you determine the next steps you should take.