Monday, October 12, 2009


The energy credit for homeowners is back for 2009!

The following items purchased for your primary residence may qualify for the credit:

• Energy-efficient windows
• Skylights
• Central air conditioners
• Electric heat pumps
• Water heaters
• Exterior doors
• Insulation
• Natural gas, propane or oil furnaces
• Natural gas, propane or oil hot water boilers
• Biomass fuel stoves
• Main air circulating fans
• Pigmented metal roofs

When you purchase an item that qualifies for an energy credit the seller should provide you with a “manufacturer certification”.

I have told, and continue to tell, my clients to be sure to save this certification and to actually give it to me with their 2009 tax “stuff”.

A newsletter I sent out in May to discuss the provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) included the following - “Just as with the previous credit, you should get a ‘manufacturer’s certification’ when you purchase a qualifying item. Save this certification and give it to me with your tax ‘stuff’ next year.”

On the WHAT I NEED page of the website for my 1040 practice – – I include - “IF YOU PURCHASED AN ITEM ELIGIBLE FOR AN ENERGY CREDIT - I need to know the cost of the item and I need to see the ‘Manufacturer's Certification’ you received from the seller.”

IRS Notice 2009-53 states that for the most part – “. . . a taxpayer may rely on a manufacturer’s certification that a building envelope component is an eligible building envelope component or that energy property is qualified energy property”.

There is no doubt in my mind that if your 2009 return is one of the very few selected for audit, and you claimed an energy credit, the IRS will ask to see the manufacturer’s certification for the energy-efficient item(s) purchased.

You must make sure that the certification applies to the 2009 energy credit law, and not the old 2005 law. Certifications dated after February 18, 2009, must include a notation that the product meets the efficiency standards contained in ARRA (apparently different from the standards in the earlier law).

Under the prior law you could rely on an Energy Star Label rather then an actual manufacturer’s certification to determine if the purchase qualified for the credit. For property placed in service after February 17, 2009, and paid for before June 1, 2009, you can rely on the Energy Star Label only for exterior windows or skylights. Effective June 1st this alternative will end.

So you see that it is very important that you have a manufacturer’s certification for any purchase for which you wish to claim an energy credit. Those of you who will be running out during the last months of 2009 to purchase energy-efficient items in order to get the credit on your 2009 Form 1040 must be sure you get a certification from the seller - do not rely on a seller’s verbal confirmation only!



Anonymous said...

Excellent info--would just like
to add that sometimes the required certification may be found on manufacturers website. May be easier too than trying to get it from the contractor/installer-
Speaking of contractors, be sure your invoice breaks out for the "cost of the product"(the tax credit item) and labor in order to accurately calculate the credit.
I'm not a tax pro-but I thought I'd mentioned from my own experience.

Robert D Flach said...


Thanks for the additional info!