How to claim a residential clean energy tax credit


Use these steps for claiming a residential clean energy tax credits.

Step 1: Check eligibility

Make sure the property on which you are installing the energy property is eligible:

  • Located in the United States
  • A new or existing home

Make sure you are installing qualified energy property:

  • Solar electric panels
  • Solar water heaters (certified by the Solar Rating Certification Corporation or a comparable entity endorsed by your state)
  • Wind turbines
  • Geothermal heat pumps (meet Energy Star requirements in effect at the time of purchase)
  • Fuel cells
  • Battery storage technology (capacity of at least 3 kilowatt hours)

Used (previously owned) clean energy property is not eligible.

Qualified expenses may include labor costs for onsite preparation, assembly or original installation of the property and for piping or wiring to connect it to the home.

Traditional building components that primarily serve a roofing or structural function generally don't qualify. For example, roof trusses and traditional shingles that support solar panels don't qualify, but solar roofing tiles and solar shingles do because they generate clean energy.

Step 2: Buy and install the energy property

Purchase, install and use your qualified clean energy property.

Step 3: Get documentation

While documentation is not required to be filed with your tax return, it may be required if your tax return is audited. The IRS strongly recommends you retain your purchase receipts and installation records. These documents will also be needed to substantiate your adjusted basis if the property is eventually sold.

Step 4: File Form 5695 with your tax return

You will need to file Form 5695, Residential Energy Credits when you file your tax return for year in which your residential energy property was put in service.