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HVAC State Incentives

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State Incentives

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Federal (Nationwide) Incentives


Federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 significantly expanded the energy investment tax credit available under 26 USC 48. The act extended the duration for solar energy, fuel cell and microturbine credits by eight years and increased or established new credits for a variety of systems. Included in the expansion of the law were fuel cells, small wind-energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, and other HVAC options. In addition, utilities may now use the credits and taxpayers may take the credit against the alternative minimum tax.

For geothermal heat pumps there is no maximum credit limit and the credit is typically equal to 10% of expenditures. Any geothermal heat pump or geothermal equipment in operation to use energy from a subsurface source is eligible for the credit. Geothermal heat pumps are only eligible for the credit if they are placed in operation after 3 October 2008, since part of the purpose of the 2008 act is to incentivize new energy-efficient investments across all national sectors. For specific information about this credit contact the Internal Revenue Service.

Contact
Public Information - IRS
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20224
Phone: (800) 829-1040
Web Site:http://www.irs.gov

Federal Tribal Energy Program Grant

Tribal governments within the United States can now receive substantial grants to improve energy efficiency and sufficiency in their local areas under the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Tribal Energy Program. Under this program, tribal governments have access to capital, technical assistance, training and education designed to increase energy efficiency measures and develop renewable energy resources.

There is not set amount of funding for the program. Grant monies are awarded through process and will vary by solicitation. Tribal governments can receive grants to install the following energy efficiency technologies: clothes washers, refrigerators, water heaters, lighting, lighting controls/sensors, chillers, furnaces, boilers, central air conditioners, programmable thermostats, energy management systems/building controls, caulking/weather-stripping, duct/air sealing, building insulation, windows, doors, siding, roofs, comprehensive measures/whole building, and many other energy efficiency improvements may be eligible.

Geothermal heat pumps are also part of the eligible renewable energy technologies covered under the program. Also listed is passive solar space heat, geothermal electric, hydroelectric, biomass, solar water heat, solar space heat, photovoltaics, and wind. To reiterate, exact funding amount varies by solicitation. More information can be found at the following site. The program is currently headed by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Contact
Lizana Pierce
U.S. Department of Energy
Golden Field Office
1617 Cole Boulevard, MS 1501
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: (303) 275-4727
Fax: (303) 275-4753
E-Mail: lizana.pierce@go.doe.gov
Web Site: http://www.eere.energy.gov/tribalenergy

US Department of Treasury - Renewable Energy Grants

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1), taxpayers may opt to receive a Treasury Department renewable energy grant in lieu of a business energy investment tax credit. Property placed in service after 2009 may be eligible for a renewable energy grant. Solar, fuel cells, small wind turbines, microturbines, geothermal heat pumps and other technologies are all eligible in for the grant program. Contact the US Department of Energy for specific information if you have questions about whether or not your particular property is eligible.

To qualify for the grant using solar energy, the equipment must use solar energy to generate electricity, to heat or cool, or provide hot water. Solar eligible systems may receive a DOE grant equal to 30% of the basis of the property. Geothermal heat pumps can receive funding equal to 10% of the basis of the property. This grant combined with the tax rebate for geothermal heat pumps or solar energy systems can seriously discount cost of installing an energy efficient HVAC system.

This program is open only to tax-payers. US government entities on the Federal, state or local level and other groups like non-profits and cooperative electric companies may not take advantage of the grant program. All grant applications for eligible energy efficiency technology and properties must be submitted no later than 1 October 2012. Treasury will make payment prior to sixty days after application received or the date the property is placed in service, whichever is later.

Contact
Grant Information
U.S. Department of Treasury
E-Mail: 1603Questions@do.treas.gov
Web Site: http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/recovery/Pages/1603.aspx

USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) established the high energy cost grant program to stimulate the growth of energy efficiency technologies in rural communities. The program is targeted for high energy consumption areas that typically run energy costs higher than 275% of the national average. Tribal governments, state and local governments, commercial entities, non-profits, and individual property owners are eligible for the grant. Up to $5 million USD is available for a variety of energy conservation activities:

  • Electric generation, transmission, and distribution facilities
  • Natural gas or petroleum storage or distribution facilities
  • Renewable energy facilities used for on-grid or off-grid electric power generation, water or space heating, or process heating and power
  • Backup up or emergency power generation or energy storage equipment
  • Weatherization of residential and community property, or other energy efficiency or conservation programs.
  • Eligible Renewable Energy Technologies: solar water heat, solar space heat, solar thermal electric, solar thermal process heat, photovoltaics, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, small hydroelectric.


Contact
Karen Larsen
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Rural Development, Electric Programs
1400 Independence Avenue, SW Stop 1560, Room 5165-South
Washington, DC 20250-1560
Phone: (202) 720-9545
Fax: (202) 690-0717
E-Mail: energy.grants@wdc.usda.gov
Web Site: http://www.usda.gov/rus

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants

The Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) began in May 2008 from the Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. The purpose of REAP is to subsidize energy efficiency and renewable energy for farmers and other small businesses in rural areas. The REAP program is authorized to provide grants and loan guarantees for installation of energy efficiency technologies. REAP may also be used to provide monies for energy audits and renewable energy development assistance. USDA administers REAP and up to $70 million USD will be made available in FY 2012 for the program.

Wind, solar, biomass and geothermal heat pumps are all eligible renewable energy projects under REAP. Such projects can receive grants up to 25% of predicted costs. Loan amounts may not exceed $25 million USD. Overall, combined value of grant and loan may not exceed 75% of project. Currently, projections are for 20% of available funds to be earmarked for grants at $20,000 USD or less.

Contact
Public Information - RBS
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Rural Business - Cooperative Service
USDA/RBS, Room 5045-S, Mail Stop 3201
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250-3201
Phone: (202) 690-4730
Fax: (202) 690-4737
E-Mail: webmaster@rurdev.usda.gov
Web Site: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs

Energy-Efficient Mortgages

Energy efficient mortgages (EEM) are available for homeowners who want to finance energy efficiency improvements for their existing home. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Veterans Affairs (VA) insure the US energy efficient mortgage loan program to allow low credit rating buyers to acquire energy efficiency in new mortgages and secure lenders against loan future.

Passive solar space heat, solar water heat, solar space heat, photovoltaics, and daylighting are all renewable technologies eligible in the energy-efficient mortgage program. FHA currently allows borrowers to add up to 100% of energy efficiency improvements to an existing mortgage. Limitations vary by locality. The amount of the addition is now 5% of the property, 115% of the median area price of a single-family dwelling, or 150% of the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit.

Energy-efficient mortgages insured by the VA are combined with VA home or refinancing loans. Up to $6,000 USD is available depending upon the level of projected energy savings related to the increase in mortgage payments. The VA will insure up to 50% of the loan if it is a VA loan. Potential mortgage holders may not include cost of their own labor in the total amount and no additional appraisal is necessary. An HER must be submitted and other documentation as required by the VA.

Contact
Residential Energy Savings Network
http://www.resnet.us/ratings/mortgages

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs)

State, local and tribal governments may use Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) to finance certain types of energy projects. Currently, the following technologies are eligible for QECBs: solar thermal electric, photovoltaics, landfill gas, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, geothermal electric, municipal solid waste, hydrokinetic power, anaerobic digestion, tidal energy, wave energy, and ocean thermal. QECB rates are available here.

QECBs may also be used for other energy conservation projects of fairly broad category. Projects must be energy efficiency related, of course, like green community programs, renewable energy production, various research and development applications, etc. Funds may also be used for public energy efficiency educations campaigns. Also, any energy facility using renewable energy that is currently eligible for CREBs will also qualify for QECBs.

Contact
Public Information - IRS
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20224
Phone: (800) 829-1040
Web Site:http://www.irs.gov

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Personal)

US taxpayers may claim federal tax credits or deductions for energy conservation property. In order to qualify for the residential energy conservation subsidy exclusion, the taxpayer must have paid taxes on a viable expense. Currently the program covers solar water heat, solar space heat, and photovoltaics. This is a personal tax exemption for residential homeowners.

Any solar water heat, solar space heat, or photovoltaic energy conservation measures must reduce consumption of electricity or natural gas in order to qualify for the exemption. Various dwellings are eligible for the program including houses, apartments, condominiums, mobile homes, boats, etc. Given the complexity of current tax law, taxpayers should consult with a professional accountant or the IRS in order to insure they comply with current law.

Contact
Public Information - IRS
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20224
Phone: (800) 829-1040
Web Site:http://www.irs.gov

Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit

The residential energy efficiency tax credit is available to US homeowners who installed energy efficiency improvements in their home. The maximum tax credit for 2011 is $500 USD. The program covers a variety of heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment including water heaters, furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, central air conditioners, building insulation, windows, doors, roofs, and circulating fans used in a qualifying furnace. The relevant energy efficiency equipment must be installed in a dwelling in the United States used as a primary residence by the taxpayer in question.

The following credits may be available for qualified HVAC systems:

  • Advanced main air circulating fan: $50
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler with an annual fuel utilization rate of 95 or greater: $150
  • Electric heat pump water heater with an energy factor of at least 2.0: $300
  • Electric heat pump which achieves the highest efficiency tier established by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency: $300
  • Central air conditioner which achieves the highest efficiency tier established by the Consortium for Energy Efficiency: $300
  • Natural gas, propane, or oil water heater which has either an energy factor of at least 0.82 or a thermal efficiency of at least 90 percent: $300
  • Biomass stoves that use "plant-derived fuel available on a renewable or recurring basis, including agricultural crops and trees, wood and wood waste and residues (including wood pellets), plants (including aquatic plants), grasses, residues, and fibers": $300


Contact
Public Information - IRS
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20224
Phone: (800) 829-1040
Web Site:http://www.irs.gov

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 made residential property eligible for federal tax credits after installation of solar-electric, solar water heating or fuel cell systems. An extension to the act in 2008 increased the number of eligible technologies. Now, small wind-energy systems and geothermal heat pumps are also eligible for the residential renewable energy tax credit. This further increases the amount of assistance available for these energy efficient systems.

For a primary residence located in the United States, a taxpayer may claim a credit of 30% of qualified expenditures. This credit is only available after the installation process is complete. Labor costs, assembly or installation, and necessary piping or wiring are all eligible to be included in the qualified expenditure cost. In the case of a federal tax credit exceeding the taxpayer's tax liability, the taxpayer may carry over the excess amount to the following fiscal year. Currently the taxable amount may be carried forward until 2016.

Solar-electric property

  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008. The maximum credit is $2,000 for systems placed in service before January 1, 2009.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2016.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer's principal residence.


Solar water-heating property

  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008. The maximum credit is $2,000 for systems placed in service before January 1, 2009.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2016.
  • Equipment must be certified for performance by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) or a comparable entity endorsed by the government of the state in which the property is installed.
  • At least half the energy used to heat the dwelling's water must be from solar in order for the solar water-heating property expenditures to be eligible.
  • The tax credit does not apply to solar water-heating property for swimming pools or hot tubs.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer's principal residence.


Fuel cell property

  • The maximum credit is $500 per half kilowatt (kW).
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2006, and on or before December 31, 2016.
  • The fuel cell must have a nameplate capacity of at least 0.5 kW of electricity using an electrochemical process and an electricity-only generation efficiency greater than 30%.
  • In case of joint occupancy, the maximum qualifying costs that can be taken into account by all occupants for figuring the credit is $1,667 per 0.5 kW. This does not apply to married individuals filing a joint return. The credit that may be claimed by each individual is proportional to the costs he or she paid.
  • The home served by the system must be the taxpayer's principal residence.


Small wind-energy property

  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008. The maximum credit is $500 per 0.5 kW, not to exceed $4,000, for systems placed in service in 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2008, and on or before December 31, 2016.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer's principal residence.


Geothermal heat pumps

  • There is no maximum credit for systems placed in service after 2008. The maximum credit is $2,000 for systems placed in service in 2008.
  • Systems must be placed in service on or after January 1, 2008, and on or before December 31, 2016.
  • The geothermal heat pump must meet federal Energy Star criteria.
  • The home served by the system does not have to be the taxpayer's principal residence.



Significantly, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 repealed a previous limitation on the use of the credit for eligible projects also supported by "subsidized energy financing." For projects placed in service after December 31, 2008, this limitation no longer applies.

Contact
Public Information - IRS
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
1111 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20224
Phone: (800) 829-1040
Web Site: http://www.irs.gov
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