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Cash In on Energy Efficient Tax Incentives Under the Inflation Reduction Act

The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) offers substantial tax incentives aimed at both homeowners and developers, encouraging the use of renewable energy and investments in energy-efficient technologies and sustainable practices.

Whether you are a homeowner looking to reduce your energy bills or a developer aiming to build greener properties, understanding these incentives can unlock considerable savings and benefits.

Tax Incentives for Homeowners

Single family and multi-family homeowners have a unique opportunity to leverage tax incentives under the IRA to make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes and apartments. These incentives not only reduce the upfront costs of improvements but also enhance long-term savings through reduced energy consumption.

Key incentives include:

1. Home Efficiency Rebates

These rebates apply to whole-house projects that are predicted to reduce energy usage by at least 20%. Examples of a whole house project include the installation of energy efficient air conditioners, windows, and doors. The maximum rebate amount is $8,000 for eligible taxpayers with projects with at least 35% predicted energy savings.

2. Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit

Homeowners installing renewable energy systems such as solar panels, wind turbines, or geothermal heat pumps can benefit from this credit, which covers up to 30% of the installation costs, up to a maximum of $3,200.

3. Home Electrification and Appliance Rebates

Low- and moderate-income households can receive rebates for installing energy efficient equipment and appliances. These rebates cover up to 100% of costs for lower-income families (those making less than 80% of the area median income) and up to 50% of costs for moderate-income families (those making 80% to 150% of the area median income).

Tax Incentives for Developers

On the developer side, the IRA incentives are designed to promote the construction of energy-efficient buildings and the adoption of sustainable development practices.

Key incentives include:

1. 179D Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Tax Deduction

This deduction allows developers to claim a tax deduction for installing energy-efficient systems in commercial buildings, based on the building’s square footage and the energy savings achieved. This includes both new construction and renovations of existing properties. Improvements must meet specific standards set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to reduce energy and power costs by at least 25% compared to a standard reference building. The systems considered for this deduction include interior lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water, and building envelope.

2. 45L Residential Energy Efficiency Credit

This per-unit credit is for developers who build or substantially rehabilitate energy-efficient homes. Buildings must meet ENERGY STAR® guidelines to be eligible for the $2,500 tax threshold and must achieve Zero Energy Ready Home requirements to meet the $5,000 threshold. Multi-family homes also have options based on the level of energy efficiency, and whether prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are met.

Be Efficient with Energy Tax Credits

Whether you are planning to upgrade your home or develop new properties, understanding and utilizing these incentives can lead to substantial financial benefits. SVA professionals are well-versed in these credits and deductions and can work with you to determine the best options for you. Contact us to learn more about how we can help!

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Biz Tip Topic Expert: Chris Fearn, CPA

Chris Fearn, CPA

Chris is a Principal with SVA Certified Public Accountants with expertise in the real estate and nonprofit industries. In his role, he manages and performs audits for owners of affordable multifamily housing projects receiving Section 42 Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

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