"The following guidance is not intended as legal advice, and you should consult a tax professional with specific questions.
2011 Tax Credit
On December 17, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Under this law, homeowners may claim a tax credit for the purchase of energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights.
To be eligible for the credit, windows, doors, and skylight must
Homeowners may receive a tax credit equal to 10% of the product cost (installation may NOT be included) up to
- $200 for eligible windows and skylights
- $500 for eligible doors
Homeowners may receive no more than $500 total for all energy efficiency tax credits. These caps are also the new "lifetime limits" for the taxable years of 2006 to 2011. If you claimed an energy efficiency credit in a previous taxable year, please consult a tax professional to determine your remaining eligibility for this credit.
The Internal Revenue Service (IR has not yet made a determination as to what documentation a homeowner must retain when claiming this tax credit. Until IRS issues a guidance document for this tax credit, homeowners should save all available documentation, such as purchase receipts, ENERGY STAR labels, and manufacturers' certification statements. Additional information will be provided if and when it is made available from the IRS.
2009-2010 Tax Credit
As of June 1, 2009, windows, doors, and skylights with U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) ratings of less than or equal to 0.30 are eligible for a federal tax credit of 30 percent of the product price, up to $1,500. Although it seems complicated to determine which products meet those requirements, ENERGY STAR makes it easy. Look for the following ENERGY STAR labels and you can be sure the product you are buying is eligible for the tax credit.
Windows and Skylights
This image shows an ENERGY STAR product qualification label for doors. The product label states “ENERGY STAR Qualified in All 50 States” at the top and has an ENERGY STAR certification mark on the left. Beneath this, the label reads “Does this door meet the criteria for its glazing level? (Check only one box)” and is followed by a table. The table outlines the qualification criteria for each glazing level, followed by a column headed “Yes” where the manufacturer is to check, indicating the product qualifies for that glazing level. The first row includes the opaque, the second includes quarter or half-lite (less than or equal to half-lite), and the third includes three-quarter or full-lite (greater than half-lite). Opaque doors must have a U-factor of 0.21 or less and there is not requirement for SHGC. Less than or equal to half-lite doors must have a U-factor of 0.27 or less and an SHGC of 0.30 or less. Greater than half-lite doors must have a U-factor of 0.32 or less and an SHGC of 0.30 or less.
Doors with a checkmark in the "¼ or ½ Lite" or "Opaque" row are eligible for the tax credit.
Windows, Doors, or Skylights
This label may also appear on some eligible windows, doors, or skylights.
Although not required like the labels shown above, this ENERGY STAR label helps identify tax-credit-eligible products:
More Details on the Tax Credit
On February 17, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. This bill extends and modifies the tax credits for windows, doors, and skylights established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The following guidance is not intended as legal advice, and you should consult a tax professional with specific questions.
Qualifying products purchased between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010 are eligible for a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the product cost. Installation is not included; be sure to obtain an itemized invoice from your retailer or installer. The maximum amount of homeowner credit for all improvements combined (including roofing, insulation, HVAC, and water heaters) is $1,500 during 2009 and 2010.
Products Purchased before June 1, 2009
Criteria: Windows, doors, and skylights purchased before June 1, 2009 must meet or exceed the prescriptive criteria established by the 2001 Supplement of the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) or the 2004 Supplement of the 2003 IECC for the climate zone in which the product is installed.
Documentation: For windows and skylights, homeowners may use either ENERGY STAR labels or manufacturer certification statements to document eligibility for the tax credit. Doors are required to have a manufacturer certification statement.
Products Purchased on or after June 1, 2009
Criteria: Windows, doors, and skylights purchased on or after June 1, 2009 must have U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) ratings of 0.30 or less. These ratings must be certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). Look for the NFRC label. NFRC is the only federally recognized organization for determining the energy performance of windows, doors and skylights. Please see the NFRC website for information concerning product performance.
Documentation: Homeowners must obtain a manufacturer certification statement to document window, door, or skylight eligibility for the tax credit. If the retailer or installer cannot provide this document, it may be available on the manufacturer's Web site."