The Energy Efficient Home Credit, as established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and codified under §45L of the Internal Revenue Code, allows eligible developers to claim a $2,000 tax credit for each newly constructed or substantially reconstructed qualifying residence. Examples of housing for which this credit applies includes:
The residence or building must not be more than three stories above grade in height. This incentive was extended by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and applies to residences sold or leased on or before December 31, 2017.
An eligible contractor must have constructed a qualified energy efficient home, as well as owned and have had a basis in the home during its construction. An eligible contractor may claim the credit for each home that qualifies for the credit if:
The §45L credit not only includes new construction, but reconstruction and rehabilitation projects. The incentive applies to single-family homes as well as condominiums, apartment complexes, and other multifamily residential buildings whereby each unit may qualify for a $2,000 credit.
The §45L credit is $2,000 for a dwelling unit that is certified to have an annual level of heating and cooling energy consumption at least 50% below the annual level of heating and cooling energy consumption of a “comparable dwelling unit” and has building envelope component improvements that account for at least 1/5 of the 50% reduction in energy consumption.
A comparable dwelling unit:
Certification must be obtained to verify that the home satisfies specific energy efficiency requirements. Further, certification must be done using an independent, qualified individual to verify and certify that the property installed satisfies specific energy efficiency requirements using IRS-approved software. A site visit is required to verify installation of the energy efficient features. The tax credit is filed using IRS Form 8908, Energy Efficient Home Credit.
A taxpayer constructed a 250 unit apartment community made substantial energy efficiency upgrades to the property, and at $2,000 per unit, earned a $500,000 §45L tax credit. The tax credit was used to offset many of the costs for the upgrades. The taxpayer touted having “Green Living” in its marketing materials and literature, which made the property more attractive to prospective tenants.