residential-energy-tax-creditsOctober is Energy Awareness Month. It’s a great time to take advantage of renewable energy systems for your home. While many tax credits for residential energy efficient products expired at the end of December 2011, there are still tax credits available through 2016 for geothermal heat pumps, solar panels, solar water heaters, small wind energy systems and fuel cells. Get a tax credit of 30% of cost with no upper limit when you purchase qualifying products for your home. Geothermal Heat Pumps Geothermal heat pumps are similar to ordinary heat pumps, but rather than draw outside air like traditional heat pumps, they tap into the earth’s surface, using the energy and relatively consistent heat found in the earth. They can provide heating and cooling to your home, with the highest level of efficiency even on the coldest winter days or hottest summer nights. In most cases, they can also provide hot water for your residence. Solar Panels and Water Heaters Traditionally, solar has been considered cost effective if owning your home for 15-20 years or your usage of energy is relatively high. But cost for adding solar products has dropped recently, so now could be an ideal time to add solar panels. Solar water heaters can also qualify for a tax credit, but unfortunately not for heating the swimming pool or hot tub. Small Wind Turbines If your home isn’t in a sunny location, consider wind power. Enjoy the benefits of utility power while reducing your electric bill every time the wind blows. Wind turbines can be advantageous to home owners wanting to reduce their electric bill and their reliance on grid power. For more information about tax credits for qualifying energy efficient residential products, visit, Energy Star or the IRS. Thinking About Buying a New Car? Why not consider an electric vehicle and get a tax credit up to $7,500. Electric vehicles purchased in or after 2010 may be eligible for this credit. With over a dozen auto makers currently offering qualifying cars and light trucks, there is bound to be one that’s right for you – and quite possibly make you the envy of your neighbors. To apply for the credit on a new electric vehicle, you’ll need to use Form 8936 from the IRS. For more information about tax credits on electric vehicles, visit or the IRS list of qualified vehicles (acquired after Dec. 31, 2009). Prepare and manage your taxes online. Visit and get all the free technical support you need to prepare your own taxes. Sign up for a free account today.