I have been getting conflicting opinions on the following.
If I install new energy efficient windows myself, how can I get the
energy credit? I have been told that it must be installed by a
"qualified" installer, whatever that means, and that I cannot get the
credit if I do it myself. I have installed many windows, replaced
single-pane glass with argon filled double glass, etc, and certainly
know how to do a proper job. Do I have to hire someone who is
"qualified" to do what I can do myself perfectly well, or can I
somehow find someone to "qualify" me?
I don't see anything in the Code or in any IRS guidance issued on
this subject that says energy efficient windows need to be
installed by a third party. The reinstatement of the credit
(ended after 2007, brought back to life in 2009) included
additional requirements that were not in the original credit.
Here is the relevant part from the IRS Notice. (reference to a
building component includes your windows).
.05 General Provisions. Under all three of the acts, EPACT, EIEA,
and ARRTA, the following provisions apply:
(1) Requirements to Claim the Credit. A taxpayer may claim a
credit under § 25C with respect to amounts paid or incurred for
an item of property only if each of the following requirements is
(a) The item is installed in or on a dwelling unit located in the
United States and, at the time of installation, the dwelling unit
is owned and used by the taxpayer as the taxpayer's principal
residence (within the meaning of § 121). Thus, the credit is only
available for existing homes. See § 45L for the credit applicable
to new homes.
(b) The original use of the item commences with the taxpayer.
(c) In the case of a building envelope component described in
section 2.03(1) or 4.01 of this notice, the component reasonably
can be expected to remain in use for at least five years. For
this purpose, a component will be treated as reasonably expected
to remain in use for at least five years if the manufacturer
offers, at no extra charge, at least a two-year warranty
providing for repair or replacement of the component in the event
of a defect in materials or workmanship. If the manufacturer does
not offer such a warranty, all relevant facts and circumstances
are taken into account in determining whether the component
reasonably can be expected to remain in use for at least five years.
(2) Time of Expenditure. The credit is allowed for amounts paid
or incurred by the taxpayer during the taxable year. Section
25C(e)(1) incorporates § 25D(e)(8), relating to the time
expenditures are treated as made. Accordingly, except as provided
in section 2.03(1)(e) and (f) of this notice, expenditures will
be treated as made for purposes of § 25C when the original
installation of the property is complete or, in the case of
reconstruction, when the original use of the reconstructed
I've been researching this for my own purposes, and I don't
see anything in the Form 5695 instructions that would
require the involvement of a third party. A literal read of
the instructions ("You may be able to take the credits if
you made energy saving improvements to your home...")
appears to give the home owner the go-ahead to do the work.
Further, the instructions exclude the cost of installation
when computing the credit ("For purposes of figuring the
credit, do not include amounts paid for the onsite
preparation, assembly, or original installation of the