Thursday, March 19, 2009

Stimulus Act Energy Efficiency Tax Credits For HVACR


Many homeowners can receive a tax break for making their homes more energy efficient.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the federal stimulus package, includes a number of provisions for reducing the amount of money spend on energy usage by installing energy-efficient upgrades to existing homes.
Improvements that could qualify for the tax credit include replacing or installing new windows, doors, insulation, and heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment.

Those provisions include:
· A tax credit for qualified energy-efficient improvements has been increased from 10 percent to 30 percent of the cost of the improvement.
· The maximum credits have been raised from $500 to $1,500 for the next two years. However, some improvements, such as geothermal heat pumps are not subjected to the $1,500 limit.
Some heating and cooling system components will qualify, but if they are combined with nonqualified components, the entire system is not eligible for the tax credit.
Installation costs such as site preparation and wiring are included for HVAC systems (air conditioners and air-source heat pumps) and geothermal heat pumps.
Some changes have been made to the standards that property must meet in order to qualify for the credit. The changes take effect for property placed in service after 2009.
· Electric heat pumps must meet these standards:
o A seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) greater than or equal to 15, energy efficiency ratio (EER) greater than or equal to 12.5, and heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) greater than or equal to 8.5 for split heat pumps.
o A SEER greater than or equal to 14, EER greater than or equal to 12, and HSPF greater than or equal to 8.0 for packaged heat pumps.
· Central air conditioners must meet these standards:
o A SEER greater than or equal to 16 and EER greater than or equal to 13 for split systems.
o A SEER greater than or equal to 14 and EER greater than or equal to 12 for packaged systems.
· Qualified natural gas furnaces must meet these standards:
o An Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rate of not less than 95.

· Qualified propane furnaces must meet these standards:
o An annual fuel utilization efficiency rate of not less than 95.
· Qualified oil furnaces must meet these standards:
o An Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) rate of not less than 90.
Contractors and technicians who install and service these systems must have the education and ability to complete the work. There will be an increased need for qualified HVACR technicians to do this in the coming months and years. There are also technicians in the field today who need more training to become or stay successful in the HVACR business.

Phillip A. Rains
Copyright © Phil Rains

About the Author:
Phil is the Master Trainer/Technical Developer for HVACReducation.net. He has over 35 years of HVAC and Refrigeration experience in installation, service, and training. Get the skills you need to prepare for a new career in one of today’s hottest career fields with a diploma or certificate from HVACReducation.net
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