Energy Policy Act
What the Energy Policy Act Means to Your Business
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed on February 17, 2009, by President Obama has made significant changes to homeowner tax credits for specified energy-efficient home improvements and fuel-efficient hybrid electric vehicles (Energy Policy Act of 2005). Some of the more significant changes include the extension of the tax credit through 2010 and the increase in the total available tax credit from 10% to 30%. Of note, improvements made during 2008 are not eligible for the tax credit.
 
Buying and driving a fuel-efficient vehicle and purchasing and installing energy-efficient appliances and products provide many benefits such as better gas mileage – meaning lower gasoline costs, fewer emissions, lower energy bills, increased indoor comfort, and reduced air pollution.

Business Tax Credits

Businesses are eligible for tax credits for buying hybrid vehicles, for building energy- efficient buildings, and for improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings (as outlined in the Energy Policy Act of 2005).

Biodiesel/Alternative Fuels
Small producer biodiesel and ethanol credit - This credit will benefit small agri-biodiesel producers by giving them a 10 cent per gallon tax credit for up to 15 million gallons of agri-biodiesel produced. In addition, the limit on production capacity for small ethanol producers increased from 30 million to 60 million gallons.
Visit ENERGY STAR® for details and effective dates.

Credit for installing alternative fuel refueling property - Fueling stations are eligible to claim a 30 percent credit for the cost of installing clean-fuel vehicle refueling equipment, (e.g. E85 ethanol pumping stations). Under the provision, a clean fuel is any fuel that consists of at least 85 percent ethanol, natural gas, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, or hydrogen and any mixture of diesel fuel and biodiesel containing at least 20 percent biodiesel. This is effective through December 31, 2010.

Buildings
Credit for business installation of qualified fuel cells, stationary microturbine power plants, and solar equipment - This provides a 30 percent tax credit for the purchase price for installing qualified fuel cell power plants for businesses, a 10 percent credit for qualifying stationary microturbine power plants and a 30 percent credit for qualifying solar energy equipment. Visit ENERGY STAR for details and effective dates.

Business credit of energy-efficient new homes - This provides tax credits to eligible contractors for the construction of a qualified new energy-efficient home. Credit applies to manufactured homes meeting Energy Star criteria and other homes, saving 50 percent of the energy compared to the EPACT standard. Visit ENERGY STAR for details and effective dates.

Energy-efficient commercial building deduction - This provision allows a tax deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings that reduce annual energy and power consumption by 50 percent compared to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 2001 standard. The deduction would equal the cost of energy-efficient property installed during construction, with a maximum deduction of $1.80 per square foot of the building. Additionally, a partial deduction of 60 cents per square foot would be provided for building subsystems.

Energy-efficient appliances - This provides a tax credit for the manufacturer of energy-efficient dishwashers, clothes washers, and refrigerators. Credits vary depending on the efficiency of the unit. Visit ENERGY STAR for details and effective dates.

Below is a table of anticipated tax savings and energy savings for energy-efficient improvements, according to ENERGY STAR:

Product Category Product Type Tax Credit Specification Tax Credit
Windows Exterior Windows Meet 2000 IECC & Amendments 30% of cost up to $1500 total
Windows Skylights Meet 2000 IECC & Amendments 30% of cost up to $1500 total
Windows Exterior Doors Meet 2000 IECC & Amendments 30% of cost up to $1500 total
Roofing Metal Roofs Energy Star qualified 30% of cost up to $1500 total
Insulation Insulation Meet 2000 IECC & Amendments 30% of cost up to $1500 total
HVAC Central AC EER 12.5/SEER 15 split Systems EER 12/SEER 14 package systems 30% of cost up to $1500 total
HVAC Air source heat pumps HSPF 9 EER 13 SEER 15 30% of cost up to $1500 total
HVAC Geothermal heat pump EER 14.1 COP 3.3 closed loop
EER 16.2 COP 3.6 open loop
EER 15 COP 3.5 direct expansion
30% of cost up to $1500 total
HVAC Gas, oil, propane water heater Energy Factor 0.82 30% of cost up to $1500 total
HVAC Electric heat pump water heater Energy Factor 2.0 30% of cost up to $1500 total
HVAC Gas, oil, propane furnace or hot water boiler AFUE 95 30% of cost up to $1500 total
HVAC Advanced main air circulating fan No more than 2% of furnace total energy use 30% of cost up to $1500 total

* Source: energystar.gov
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