The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 was just the fist step in developing a federal policy toward energy efficiency and sustainable housing. So far, of the $787 billion funded by the ARRA, only about $283 billion has been paid out, making it likely that most of the balance will come into play this year. In addition, pending energy and job-related legislation is likely to direct even more money to the struggling housing industry.

The landscape is constantly changing, so last month we introduced this Home Performance section, and we’ll soon launch a Home Performance e-mail newsletter and website, to keep track of developments and direct you to resources that can help you take advantage of remodeling-related programs.

Stimulus Tax Credits

This issue’s GoodForm shows remodelers how their clients can claim the ARRA federal tax credits for the purchase of an energy-efficient product or renewable energy system for their homes. Homeowners use the newly updated IRS form 5695 to claim the credit. The instructions for form 5695 include the parameters and requirements for the different types of products and systems.

In addition, the Energy Star site, used in 2009 to disperse information as it became available, has been reorganized to include full details on claiming tax credits (go to The revised site provides definitions of ratings and terms, as well as answers to frequently asked questions grouped by each product type. Visitors who create a login and password will receive e-mail notification as information on the site is updated.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.