How to Qualify for CFL Bulb Tax Credit

person holding two types of light bulbs

The installation of a CFL Bulb in place of a regular old-fashioned bulb helps you save costs on energy consumption in the long run. Apart from the long-term energy savings, a lot of alternative energy-saving devices can qualify you for a federal tax credit. Although the idea of saving energy is enough for some people, knowing whether you qualify for a tax credit can boost your motivation to move to renewable energy. Follow this step-by-step guide to find out ways to determine if you qualify for a CFL bulb tax credit.

Check Local Utility Company

First, visit your local hardware or home improvement store. You need to determine what products are eligible for state and federal tax credit. For CFL bulbs, for example, it is important to note that not all CFL bulbs qualify for the tax credit. There are specific CFL bulbs with an Energy Star mark that qualify. Check your local utility company for the availability of the specific CFL bulb that qualifies.

Existing Home and Principal Residence for 30 percent of Cost up to $1500

tax form and pen

To qualify for this type of CFL bulb tax credit, you need to make sure that the house in which you have installed the bulbs is listed as your current principal residence. The federal tax credit department does not accept applications from homeowners for homes not listed specifically as their principal residence. If you are looking for a tax credit with no upper limit and have a newly constructed home, move to the next step.

Existing Homes and Newly Constructed Homes

To qualify for the tax credit for a newly constructed home that is not listed as your principal residence, you will have to apply for a tax credit differently. This application is for 30 percent of the cost with no upper limit. Both your principal residence and your newly constructed home will qualify for this tax credit. It is important to note that rented houses do not qualify in this category though.

Qualify for the Third Type of Tax Credit

small house figure on a pile of money

The third type of tax credit includes 30 percent of the cost up to $500 per .5 kW of power capacity. If you think your home's energy consumption after the application of CFL bulbs applies to this requirement, you may qualify for this type of tax credit. You can apply for your principal home only though. If your house is newly constructed, you will have to get it listed as your principal home. Rental and second homes do not qualify for this type of tax credit.

Obtain a Manufacturer's Certification Statement (MCS)

The MCS certifies that your product, the CFL bulb, in this case, qualifies for the federal tax credit. You need this certificate before you can apply for the tax credit.

Determine Whether your State has an Energy Star Rebate Program

The final step would be to look for an Energy Star rebate program in your state. All US states have the Energy Star appliance rebate program.

Note: These are general guidelines. Specific tax credit details change each year.