What you need to know about the Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Solar panels on roof of house.
Not only do solar panels help you save money on your utility bill – you also get a tax credit for installing them!

As Americans become wiser, we adopt more energy efficient practices. As we become richer, we buy more stuff. A lot of that stuff comes in the form of energy-sucking gadgetry: flat screen tvs, iPhones and iPads, cell phones and xBoxes. So while our enlightened energy practices our lowering the cost of energy, our consumer habits are jacking them right back up again.

Fortunately, we can significantly decrease the cost of our utility bills, which right now make up around 6% of the average Americans monthly cost of living, by installing renewable energy properties to our homes. Even better? The federal government has special incentives for those of us who take measures to use renewable energies.

While it’s easy to confuse the Renewable Energy Tax Credit and the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit, the benefits and the shelf life are very different.

Renewable Energy Tax Credit


Energy Efficiency Tax Credit

Extended through December 31, 2016.

Ended December 31, 2013.

Homeowners can claim 30% of qualifying purchases with no maximum credit.

Taxpayers can claim no more than $500.

Includes renewable energy properties such as solar panels and solar water heaters.

Includes energy efficiency improvements such as insulation and heat reducing roofing.

Cost of installation is included.

Cost of installation is not included.

What properties qualify for the Renewable Energy Tax Credit?

  • solar electric,

  • solar water heating,

  • small wind energy,

  • geothermal heat pump, and

  • fuel cell*.

*For fuel cell properties, there is a cap of $500 per one-half kilowatt of capacity of the property.

What, in addition to materials, is included in the Renewable Energy Tax Credit?

  • labor costs of onsite preparation,

  • assembly,

  • original installation,

  • and piping or wiring to interconnect properties to the home.

(Go to Energy.gov for more detailed information.)

How do I claim my credit?

  • Collect your receipts and the Manufacturer’s Certification Statements for your renewable energy properties.

  • Fill out the 2013 version of IRS Form 5695 and submit it with you taxes by April 15, 2014.

Remember to turn your taxes in by April 15, 2014, and if you haven’t taken advantage of the savings made possible by solar power, remember that you can still get credit for renewable energy systems installed and working by December 31, 2016. Contact Sunlight Contractors to see how we can help you take advantage of this tax credit while lowering your utility bills.


Main Office: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 2323 Bainbridge St #110, Kenner, LA 70062 (504) 222-2082

New Orleans location: Sunlight Contractors, LLC 650 Poydras St, Suite 1400, Rm 33, New Orleans, LA 70130 (504) 302-0058

Proudly Serving the following areas:

[wpgmza id=”2″]

Scroll to Top