Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit: Qualifying Expenses in 2024


What is the energy efficient home improvement credit?

The energy efficient home improvement credit can help homeowners cover costs related to qualifying improvements made from 2023 to 2032. The maximum credit amount is $1,200 for home improvements and $2,000 for heat pumps and biomass stoves or boilers.

Previously, the credit was capped at a $500 lifetime limit. But thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the new limits are annual, allowing homeowners to strategically stagger the purchase of their upgrades to make the most of the credit each year.

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Energy efficient home improvement credit 2023

The energy efficient home improvement credit for 2023 is 30% of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $3,200. You can only claim expenses made in 2023 on your 2024 return.

Which projects qualify for the home improvement credit?

You can claim up to 30% of the cost of home upgrades, including energy audits, residential energy property, and energy-efficient doors, windows and insulation. While the maximum you can claim for these expenses is $1,200, some improvements come with additional limitations.

Home energy audits

If you paid an auditor to assess your home for energy efficiency opportunities, you could get a portion of the cost back through this credit. The maximum you can claim for qualifying home energy audits is $150 per year. Be sure to visit the IRS’ energy home improvements page for details on what qualifies. A change for 2024 requires a written inspection report by a home energy auditor who follows industry best practices and has a valid employer identification number or tax ID.

Residential energy property

You can claim up to $600 per item for qualifying residential energy property and the cost of their installation. This includes new air conditioners, furnaces, and water boilers and heaters. Support systems like panelboards and feeders may also qualify for this credit.

Energy-efficient doors, windows, and insulation

  • Exterior doors have a limit of $250 per door and a total limit of $500. 

  • Exterior windows and skylights have a $600 total limit. 

  • Insulation and air sealing materials or systems have no additional limit outside of the general $1,200 maximum. 

Note, though, the 30% credit maximum clause. So, for example, if you spent $1,200 on a new energy-conserving insulation system, the most you’ll get back on that investment through the credit is $360. Also, keep in mind that labor costs for the installation of doors, windows and insulation don’t count toward the credit.

Heat pump tax credit

Heat pumps and biomass stoves or boilers have a higher credit limit of 30% of costs up to $2,000 per year. New heat pumps, water heaters, and biomass stoves and boilers qualify. And one perk: the cost of installation also counts toward the credit.

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Who qualifies for the energy tax credit?

To qualify for the energy efficient home improvement credit, the home has to be your primary residence and located in the U.S. It can’t be newly built and generally also can’t be used solely as a business. However, if you use your home as a business 20% of the time or less, you can still claim the full credit amount. If your home serves as a business more than 20% of the time, the credit amount may decrease.

How to claim the home improvement credit

You can claim the energy efficient home improvement credit by attaching Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits, to your tax return

Internal Revenue Service. Form 5695. Accessed Feb 7, 2024.

. Have all your documentation handy, as you’ll need to know the exact costs of each expense to claim the credit.

🤓Nerdy Tip

You can also use Form 5695 to claim tax credits for other energy improvements, such as the installation of a solar power system.

Is the energy efficient home improvement credit refundable?

The energy efficient home improvement credit is nonrefundable, and you can’t put any leftover credit toward a future tax bill. A nonrefundable credit means that if the credit dips your tax bill below zero, you won’t get the excess of the credit back as a tax refund.

How to calculate your credit

You’ll want to consider any subsidies, rebates or incentives you received for an energy-saving home improvement when calculating your credit amount.

Utility-based energy incentives and certain rebates generally have to be subtracted from your expenses before calculating your credit, whereas state energy efficiency incentives typically don’t. But remember to check the IRS website for full guidelines before figuring your expense amount.



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