On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed a stimulus bill (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that made some significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits.
- The efficiency levels have been modified to reflect the highest tier of the CEE High-efficiency Specification for Residential HVAC Systems for equipment "placed in service" between Feb. 17, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2010.
- Please note: Equipment listed below (except water heaters, which only needs to achieve one of the efficiency specifications) must meet all performance specifications for its category. For example, a tax-credit eligible split central air conditioner must have stated performance ratings of 13 EER and 16 SEER.
- The tax credit has been raised from 10% to 30% for certain products.
- The tax credits that were for a specific dollar amount (i.e. $300 for a CAC), have been converted to 30% of the cost.
- The maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1500 for the two years (2009–2010). However, some improvements such as geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and solar panels are not subject to the $1,500 maximum.
- Improvements made in 2009 will be claimed on your 2009 taxes (filed by April 15, 2010) — use IRS Tax Form 5695 (2009 version) — it will be available late 2009 or early 2010.