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the installed cost of the system. The economic stimulus legislation also provides the option for businesses to take a grant from the U.S. Treasury Department during 2009 and 2010 in lieu of the investment tax credit.
Qualifying equipment will use solar energy to (1) generate electricity, or heat/cool or provide hot water to a structure, or (2) illuminate the inside of a building by means of fiber-optic distributed sunlight (tube systems and passive solar are not eligible). For more information visit www.seia.org.
o Solar Water Heating: Systems must be certified for performance by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation (SRCC) or a comparable entity endorsed by the state government in which the system is located. At least half of the energy used by the system to heat the water must be solar energy. Expenses for heating swimming pools or hot tubs are not eligible.
o Photovoltaic (PV) Systems: Systems must provide electricity for the residence, and must meet applicable fire and electrical code requirements.
Small Wind Systems
Businesses that install wind turbines with not more than 100 kilowatts of nameplate capacity are eligible for the 30% investment tax credit. For more information see www.awea.org.
Qualified geothermal systems are ground source heat pumps with related equipment used to produce, distribute, or use energy derived from a geothermal source. Commercial customers can either get an investment tax credit of 10% of the installed cost, available through 2016. The ARRA legislation also provides the option of taking a grant in lieu of the credit, worth 10% of the installed costs for equipment placed in service during 2009 and 2010. For systems where electricity is produced by geothermal power, equipment qualifies for an incentive only up to, but not including, the electric transmission stage.
Fuel Cells and Microturbines www.energytaxincentives.org/business/fuel_cells.php
The investment tax credits for these two systems are available for systems "placed in service" through December 31, 2016. Fuel cells generate electricity through a chemical process. They are somewhat similar to batteries, except they must be continuously fed with fuel. Microturbines are small power generation systems using a gas turbine engine.
o Fuel Cells: Credits are for 30% of the cost, up to $3,000 per kW of power that can be produced. To qualify, systems must have an efficiency of at least 30% and must have a capacity of at least 0.5 kW.
o Microturbines: Credits are for 10% of the cost, up to $200 per
kW of power that can be produced. To qualify, systems must have an efficiency of at least 26% and must have a capacity of 2,000 kW or less.
This is a basic overview of the federal-level commercial tax incentives. For more information on equipment specifications, pertinent IRS forms, and additional eligibility details, visit the TIAP Web site at www.energytaxincentives.org.
Please note that although TIAP has made every effort to describe these tax incentives accurately, many details of eligibility will be decided by the Internal Revenue Service, and so this information is provided as a guideline only. TIAP does not provide tax advice and suggests that individuals contact a tax professional with any questions specific to your situation.
The Tax Incentives Awareness Project (TIAP), sponsored by a coalition of public interest nonprofit groups, government agencies, and other organizations in the energy efficiency field, is designed to give consumers and businesses information they need to make use of the federal income tax incentives for energy-efficient products and technologies passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and subsequently amended by later legislation.
All content copyright © Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP). All rights reserved.
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