Ask the taxgirl: Energy Efficient Appliances

Taxpayer asks:

Can you get money back for purchasing a washer and dryer in 2009 that has the energy star on it. Thanks for the info!!!!

Taxgirl says:

Unfortunately, no. What you’re probably thinking about are Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Credits. Those credits were for the installation of specific products like energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment for an existing residence (new homes don’t qualify). “Regular” appliances, even if they’re energy-efficient don’t apply. Trust me, I wish they did as those in my kitchen apparently had a recent suicide pact. You can find out more about how those HEEIT credits work at this prior post.

That said, in 2010, you might qualify for an energy efficient appliance rebate – these vary from state to state. My state of Pennsylvania wouldn’t cover a new refrigerator but Montana will; check out this map to see what your state covers.

Like any good lawyer, I need to add a disclaimer: Unfortunately, it is impossible to give comprehensive tax advice over the internet, no matter how well researched or written. Before relying on any information given on this site, contact a tax professional to discuss your particular situation.

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6 thoughts on “Ask the taxgirl: Energy Efficient Appliances

  1. I thought new home construction qualifies. Am I reading the instructions wrong? From Form 5695 Instructions, under Who Can Take the Credits:

    “You may be able to take the credits if you made energy saving
    improvements to your home located in the United States in 2009. For
    credit purposes, costs are treated as being paid when the original
    installation of the item is completed, or in the case of costs connected
    with the construction or reconstruction of your home, when your original
    use of the constructed or reconstructed home begins”

  2. Wow, that is confusing!

    Okay, here’s the deal (the instructions are not clear). The IRS clearly says “existing homes” here:,,id=206875,00.html

    And on the energy web site:

    The confusion is that the Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit can be taken for new construction. It uses the same tax form but it’s a different credit (see Part II of the form 5695) – it’s for solar & geothermal power, fuel cells and the like. It does apply to new construction.

    But the credit for windows and certain appliances that I mentioned in the post? Only existing homes.

  3. If we were to install a tankless water heater would be eligible to a tax deduction say as if when we put in our new windows and how long to we have to have it installed to get the tax break for next year?

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