Energy Credit Guidance for Home Owners & Builders

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have issued guidance on the certification the homeowners may rely on when claiming credits for purchases that make their home more energy efficient and the energy efficient homes credit available to eligible contractors constructing qualified new energy efficient homes, including manufactured homes constructed in accordance with the Federal Manufactured Homes Construction and Safety Standards.


Thousands of executives with financial reporting responsibilities use the Comperio on-line library to access the type of information and interpretive guidance PricewaterhouseCoopers' own professional audit staff use around the world. Key content areas include guidance from the FASB, EITF, PCAOB, SEC, and others as well as PwC's interpretive guidance. Get more information and sign up for a complimentary 30-day trial.

A recent change is tax law provides a tax credit to individuals making energy-conscious purchases and improving the energy efficiency of existing homes during 2006 and 2007. The law provides homeowners with a 10 percent credit for buying qualified energy efficiency improvements such as insulation, exterior windows, exterior doors or metal roofs, meeting the energy efficiency criteria established by the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code and supplements and installed in their main home in the U.S..

The law also provides a credit for costs related to residential property expenses. To qualify as a residential energy property, the property must meet certification requirements prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury and must be installed in the taxpayer’s main home in the U.S. The maximum credit for all taxable years is $500 and no more than $200 can be attributable to expenses for windows. Other eligible expenses include:

  • $50 for each advanced main air circulating fan.
  • $150 for each qualified natural gas, propane or oil furnace or hot water heater.
  • $300 for each item of qualified energy efficient property.

Credits are also available for adding qualified solar panels, solar water heating equipment or fuel cell power plant to main homes in the U.S.. Taxpayers are allowed one credit equal to 30 percent of the qualified investment in a solar panel, up to a maximum of $2,000. Another equivalent credit may be taken for investing in a solar water heating system. No part of either system can be used to heat a pool or hot tub. Taxpayers are also allowed a 30 percent tax credit, not exceeding $500 for each 0.5 kilowatt hour of capacity, for the purchase of qualified fuel cell power plants. In general, a qualified fuel cell power plant converts a fuel into electricity using electrochemical means, has an electricity-only generation efficiency of more than 30 percent and generates at least 0.5 kilowatts of electricity.

These items must be placed in service after December 31, 2005 and before January 1, 2008.

Eligible contractors who build a qualified new energy efficient home may qualify for a credit of up to $2,000. The home qualifies for the credit if:

  • It is located in the United States;
  • Its construction is substantially completed after August 8, 2005;
  • It meets the statutory energy saving requirements, and
  • It is acquired from the eligible contractor after December 31, 2005, and before January 1, 2008, for use as a residence.

In order to meet the energy saving requirements, a home must be certified to provide a level of heating and cooling energy consumption that is at least 30 to 50 percent, in the case of manufactured homes, and 50 percent for other homes, below that of a comparable home constructed in accordance with the standards of the 2004 Supplemental to the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code. It must also have building envelope component improvements providing a level of heating and cooling energy consumption that is at least 10 percent below that of a comparable home. Manufactured homes can also qualify for the credit by meeting Energy Star standards:

  • Site-built homes qualify for a $2,000 credit if they reduce energy consumption by 50 percent relative to the International Energy Conservation Code standard.
  • Manufactured homes qualify for a $1,000 or $2,000 credit, depending on the level of energy savings achieved. The guidance provides information about the certification process that a builder must complete to qualify for the credit. The guidance also provides for a public list of software programs that may be used in calculating energy consumption for purposes of obtaining a certification.

Notice 2006-26 provides guidance on the certification homeowners may rely on when claiming credits for purchases making their homes more energy efficient. Notice 2006-27 provides guidance for the credit for building energy efficient homes, other than manufactured homes, while Notice 2006-28 provides guidance for the credit for building energy efficient manufactured homes.

You may like these other stories...

Senate Takes Different Approach from House for Highway and Bridge FundEarlier this week, according to a New York Times article, the Senate agreed to fill the coffers of the fund that pays for highway and bridge repairs with...
There it stands, your client's 100-year-old, rickety, vermin-infested barn or former hotel or whatever the darn thing once was. And she's considering what to do with it. There are two words that can help her decide...
It's not a reality—yet—but accounting software is poised to eliminate accountants. We are at a tipping point for many similar professions: online education replacing professors, legal software replacing...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Jul 31
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom helps beginners get up to speed in Microsoft Excel. However, even experienced Excel users will learn some new tricks, particularly when David discusses under-utilized aspects of Excel.
Aug 5
This webcast will focus on accounting and disclosure policies for various types of consolidations and business combinations.
Aug 20
In this session we'll review best practices for how to generate interest in your firm’s services.
Aug 21
Meet budgets and client expectations using project management skills geared toward the unique challenges faced by CPAs. Kristen Rampe will share how knowing the keys to structuring and executing a successful project can make the difference between success and repeated failures.