Federal Energy Credits for 2017

At the end of 2015, congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act which spent a lot of taxpayer money. One positive note for homeowners upgrading their HVAC systems is that it extended tax credits for energy efficient equipment through the end of 2016.

Unfortunate, the end of 2016 came without any provisions for energy tax credits in 2017. The bottom line: There are currently no tax credits for furnaces, heat pumps, central air conditioners, boilers and other traditional HVAC equipment.

Solar Energy Anyone?

Tax credits for solar energy systems are available through the end of 2021:

  • They are 30% through 2019
  • They drop to 26% for 2020 and 22% for 2021

The credits can be used on your primary or secondary residences but not on rental properties.

Here’s an overview of the solar systems that apply. All the details are available here from the Energy Star website including information on how to apply.

  • Solar water heaters qualify if half the energy used to heat water comes from the sun. Only systems certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation or a comparable state/local organization qualify.
  • Solar panels, or photovoltaic systems, qualify if they generate electricity for the home.

There are a couple notes worth making at this point.

First, Lennox’s SunSource Home Energy System is designed to generate enough energy to power the HVAC system, and those systems can consumer half the energy in an average home. If the home has enough solar modules and a suitable climate, additional energy might be produced to power lighting and other home systems.

Secondly, Tesla Solar Roof tiles are being installed this year for the first time. These roofs are constructed of two types of glass tiles – those with solar cells and those without them. The tiles look alike, and what percentage of solar tiles you need relative to plain glass tiles depends on your home’s construction, your climate and how much of your energy use you want to cover. The tempered glass tiles are very attractive and come in several styles—with more to follow. They have an “Infinite Tile Warranty” too, though the solar cells are guaranteed to produce energy for just 30 years.

To integrate the solar tiles into your home’s grid, you’ll need the Tesla Powerwall ($7,000). The roofs are expected to cost between $24 and $28 per square foot – much higher than most other types, but the lifetime cost when considering their warranty and the fact they’ll reduce or eliminate your energy bills makes them competitive.

Energy Rebates and Credits from your Energy Company

While the government is out of the business of subsidizing efficient HVAC systems, your utility company might help. Most energy companies around the country incentivize installing energy-efficient equipment including HVAC, so it is worth finding out.

Call your energy company to ask about rebates and credits or check the company’s website

  • Locate your utility company on DsireUSA.org to see what credits and rebates are offered
  • Contact an HVAC installer to learn about rebates and discuss equipment options
  • Have any equipment you purchase installed by a qualified contractor because proper installation and ongoing maintenance is the best way to keep any HVAC system running as efficiently as possible

If you’d like no-cost, no-obligation quotes from some of the top installers in your area, select the Free HVAC Quotes offer, and fill out a quick form about your HVAC needs. The contractors selected for the service are licensed, insured and pre-screened for quality.

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