Do we Americans accept the fact that as a nation, we use up more than our share of the world’s energy? Oh yeah….we definitely know it and thankfully we are starting to do something about it! How can we not agree that environmental conservation is an important topic in today’s world? On a personal scale, conserving energy will lower utility bills and saves money. That’s another reason we are on board with the “Go Green Products”.
One huge way to conserve energy is through residential energy efficiency - keeping our homes at the most constant temperature as possible. Fluctuations create spikes in energy usage. Lower energy bills is a national goal and one way to benefit from that effort is through federal tax incentives to conserve energy.
The federal government gives home owners many incentives to conserve energy as a nation. On 2/17/09, President Obama signed The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 – a stimulus bill that includes federal tax credits on selected energy efficient products purchased during 2009 and 2010. This includes certain Blinds or Window Coverings.
One of these incentives is related to window insulation - from summer heat and winter cold. Saving money is important to all Americans and there are so many reasons to insulate windows and shades. Old windows and window coverings leak air so you spend money to heat and cool the outside. Another big factor in residential energy efficiency is controlled light coming into a room. Throw on some insulated window shades and you are starting to save money by lowering energy bills. Like anything else, there is an initial cost but, according to the leading blind manufacturers, eventually the shades will pay for themselves in savings.
Although window blinds and shades aren't specifically listed in the federal law, manufacturers of custom window coverings say that installation of selected blinds and shades that qualify for LEED certification can also get you a $1,500 tax credit benefit from the federal government. Getting your credit for Energy Efficient window coverings is easy and serves as a great reminder that investing in go green products is a good way to go.
So what does the Internal Revenue Service say? It has not issued specific guidance on this issue but says that homeowners can rely on a "Manufacturer's Certification" that a product meets the criteria in the tax law.
Qualifying products are eligible for a tax credit of 30% of the cost - up to $1,500 in total during the 2009 & 2010 tax years - $1,500 is the maximum combined total amount that can be claimed for all purchases of qualifying energy efficient products placed in service during this period. The tax credit benefit for your qualifying product is 30% of the purchase price to you for the product only – which excludes measuring and installation charges and sales tax.
One thing to consider is that if you take advantage of any rebate program and you receive a rebate on your purchase price, you must reduce the amount that you compute the credit on by the rebate received.
So the steps to take to make sure you receive the tax credit benefit:
1. Ask the window coverings dealer which blinds and shades will quality for this tax credit and ask for an itemized bill to ensure you have the correct information and can claim the proper amount for the tax credit benefit.
2. Make sure your receipt for window coverings is dated on or before December 31, 2010 and keep it safe.
3. Print out the company’s certification statement for the energy tax credit benefit and keep it safely for your 2010 tax submission. Include your receipts for blinds and shades when you file taxes next year.