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Federal consumer energy efficiency tax credit expires December 31

If you’ve been thinking about any home energy improvements, do not delay. Federal tax credits of 10% up to $500 expire on December 31.

So eligible products (see list below) “placed in service” by December 31 make you eligible for a sweet tax credit when you file in April. Any improvements made in 2012 and 2013 qualify.

The ENERGY STAR website has details and instructions for filing, and we found a recent news article that offers a concise summary. And we’ve captured it all on our website, too.

Insulation: Added insulation to walls, ceilings, or other part of the building envelope.

Windows and Doors: Replacement windows and skylights, and exterior doors which meet ENERGYSTAR ® guidelines. The credit covers 10% of the material cost, up to $200.

Window Film: Window films certified by the manufacturer that the product meets the requirements of a “qualifying insulation system.”

Air and Duct Sealing: Sealing cracks in the building shell and ducts to reduce infiltration and heat loss.

Roofs: Pigmented metal roofs, or an asphalt roof with cooling granules must meet Energy Star requirements.

Water Heaters: An electric heat pump water heater, which yields an energy factor of at least 2.0. A natural gas, propane, or oil water heater , which has an energy factor of at least 0.82 or thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent.

Furnaces: Natural gas & propane furnaces must meet an Annual Fuel Use Efficiency (AFUE) 95 or higher, oil furnaces and gas, oil and propane boilers must meet an AFUE of 90 or better. The credit covers costs up to $150.

HVAC: Central air conditioning units and air-source heat pumps must meet the highest tier standards set by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) as of February 17, 2009, which in most cases requires a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 16. SEER measures performance throughout the cooling season. The credit covers costs up to $300.

Biomass: A biomass fuel property, which is a stove that burns biomass fuel to heat a dwelling unit located in the United States and used as a principal residence by the taxpayer, or to heat water for such dwelling unit, and that has a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent.