IRS issues energy reminder

The IRS recently issued a bulletin reminding taxpayers that making energy-saving improvements to their homes before the end of the year can lower their taxes for 2010.

The credit allows you to claim up to 30% of the cost of energy-efficient windows, doors, certain roofs, high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems, water heaters, and other energy-saving improvements to your principal residence. The maximum credit for amounts spent in 2009 and 2010 is $1,500.

A second energy credit is available to encourage investment in alternative energy equipment such as solar electric systems, solar hot water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, wind turbines, and fuel cell property.

The IRS cautions homeowners to check the manufacturer’s tax credit certification statement before purchasing or installing any of these improvements. The certification statement can usually be found on the manufacturer’s website or with the product packaging. Not all energy-efficient improvements qualify for the tax credits. The manufacturer’s certification is different from the Department of Energy’s Energy Star label, and not all Energy Star labeled products qualify for the tax credits.