26 CFR 1.23-2 - Definitions.
For purposes of section 23 or former section 44C and regulations thereunder -
(a)Energy conservation expenditures -
(1)In general. The term “energy conservation expenditure” means an expenditure made on or after April 20, 1977, and before January 1, 1986, by a taxpayer for insulation or any other energy-conserving component, or for labor costs allocable to the original installation of such insulation or other component, if all of the following conditions are satisfied:
(i) The insulation (as defined in paragraph (c)) or other energy-conserving component (as defined in paragraph (d)) is installed in or on a dwelling unit that is used as the taxpayer's principal residence when the installation is completed. See § 1.23-3(e) for the definition of principal residence.
(iii) The construction of the dwelling unit was substantially completed before April 20, 1977. See § 1.23-3(f) for the definition of the terms “construction” and “substantially completed”. In the case of expenditures made with respect to the enlargement of a dwelling unit, the construction of the enlargement must have been substantially completed before April 20, 1977.
(2)Examples. The application of this paragraph may be illustrated by the following examples:
(b)Renewable energy source expenditures. The term “renewable energy source expenditures” means an expenditure made on or after April 20, 1977, and before January 1, 1986, by a taxpayer for renewable energy source property (as defined in paragraph (e)), or for labor costs properly allocable to the on-site preparation, assembly, or original installation such property, if both of the following conditions are satisfied:
(c)Insulation. The term “insulation” means any item that satisfies all of the following conditions:
(1) The item is specifically and primarily designed to reduce, when installed in or on a dwelling or on a water heater, the heat loss or gain of such dwelling or water heater. To qualify as insulation the item must be installed between a conditioned area and a non conditioned area (except when installed on a water heater, water pipe, or heating/cooling duct). Thus for example, awnings do not qualify as insulation. For purposes of this section the term “conditioned area” means an area that has been heated or cooled by conventional or renewable energy source means. Insulation includes materials made of fiberglass, rock wool, cellulose, urea based foam, urethane, vermiculite, perlite, polystyrene, and extruded polystyrene foam.
(2) The original use of the item begins with the taxpayer.
(3) The item can reasonably be expected to remain in operation at least 3 years.
(4) The item meets the applicable performance and quality standards prescribed in § 1.23-4 (if any) that are in effect at the time the taxpayer acquires the item. The term “insulation” shall not include items whose primary purpose is not insulation (e.g., whose function is primarily structural, decorative, or safety-related). For example, carpeting, drapes (including linings), shades, wood paneling, fireplace screens (including those made of glass), new or replacement walls (except for qualifying insulation therein) and exterior siding do not qualify although they may have been designed in part to have an insulating effect.
(d)Other energy-conserving components. The term “other energy-conserving component” means any item (other than insulation) that satisfies all of the following conditions:
(1) The original use of the item begins with the taxpayer.
(2) The item can reasonably be expected to remain in operation for at least 3 years.
(4) The item is one of the following items:
(i)A furnace replacement burner. The term “furnace replacement burner” means a device (for oil and gas-fired furnaces or boilers) that is designed to achieve a reduction in the amount of fuel consumed as a result of increased combustion efficiency. The burner must replace an existing burner. It does not qualify if it is acquired as a component of, or for use in, a new furnace or boiler.
(ii)A device for modifying flue openings. The term “device for modifying flue openings” means an automatically operated damper that -
(A) Is designed for installation in the flue, between the barometric damper or draft hood and the chimney, of a furnace; and
(B) Conserves energy by substantially reducing the flow of conditioned air through the chimney when the furnace is not in operation. Conditioned air is air that has been heated or cooled by conventional or renewable energy source means.
(iii)A furnace ignition system. The term “furnace ignition system” means an electrical or mechanical device, designed for installation in a gas-fired furnace or boiler that automatically ignites the gas burner. In order to qualify, the device must replace a gas pilot light. Furthermore, it does not qualify if it is acquired as a component of, or for use in, a new furnace or boiler.
(iv)A storm or thermal window or door. The terms “storm or thermal window” and “storm or thermal door” mean the following:
(A)(1) A window placed outside or inside an ordinary or prime window, creating an insulating air space.
(2) A window with enhanced resistance to heat flow through the glazed area by multi-glazing.
(3) A window that consists of glass or other glazing materials that have exceptional heat-absorbing or heat-reflecting properties. For purposes of this subdivision (iv), the term “glazing material” does not include films and coatings applied on the surface of a window.
(B)(1) A second door, installed outside or inside a prime exterior door, creating an insulating air space.
(2) A door with enhanced resistance to heat flow through the glazed area by multi-glazing.
(3) A prime exterior door that has an R-value (a measurement of the ability of insulation to resist the flow of heat) of at least 2 throughout.
(v)Automatic energy-saving setback thermostat. The term “automatic energy-saving setback thermostat” means a device that is designed to reduce energy consumption by regulating the demand on the heating or cooling system in which it is installed, and uses -
(B) A clock or other automatic mechanism for switching from one control level to another.
(vi)Caulking and weatherstripping. The term “caulking” means pliable materials used to fill small gaps at fixed joints on buildings to reduce the passage of air and moisture. Caulking includes, but is not limited to, materials commonly known as “sealants”, “putty”, and “glazing compounds”. The term “weatherstripping” means narrow strips of material placed over or in movable joints of windows and doors to reduce the passage of air and moisture.
(vii)Energy usage display meter. The term “energy usage display meter” means a device the sole purpose of which is to display the cost (in money) of energy usage in the dwelling. It may show cost information for electricity usage, gas usage, oil usage, or any combination thereof. The device may measure energy usage of the whole dwelling, or individual appliances or systems on an instantaneous or cumulative basis.
(viii)Components specified by the Secretary. The Secretary (or his delegate) may, in his discretion, after consultation with the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (or their delegates), and any other appropriate Federal officers, specify by regulation other energy-conserving components for addition to the list of qualified items. See § 1.23-6 for the procedures and criteria to be used in determining whether an item will be considered for addition to the list of qualified items by the Secretary.
(e)Renewable energy source property -
(1)In general. The term “renewable energy source property” includes any solar energy property, wind energy property, geothermal energy property, or property referred to in subparagraph (2), which meets the following conditions:
(ii) The property can reasonably be expected to remain in operation for at least 5 years.
(2)Renewable energy source specified by the Secretary. In addition to solar, wind, and geothermal energy property, renewable energy source property includes property that transmits or uses another renewable energy source that the Secretary (or his delegate) specifies by regulations, after consultation with the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (or their delegates), and any other appropriate Federal officers, to be of a kind that is appropriate for the purpose of heating or cooling the dwelling or providing hot water or (in the case of expenditures made after December 31, 1979) electricity for use within the dwelling. For purposes of this section, references to the transmission or use of energy include its collection and storage. See § 1.23-6 for the procedures and criteria to be used in determining when another energy source will be considered for addition to the list of qualified renewable energy sources.
(f)Solar energy property -
(1)In general. The term “solar energy property” means equipment and materials of a solar energy system as defined in this paragraph (and parts solely related to the functioning of such equipment) which, when installed in connection with a dwelling, transmits or uses solar energy to heat or cool the dwelling or to provide hot water or (in the case of expenditures made after December 31, 1979) electricity for use within the dwelling. For this purpose, solar energy is energy derived directly from sunlight (solar radiation). Property which uses, as an energy source, fuel or energy which is indirectly derived from sunlight (solar radiation), such as fossil fuel or wood or heat in underground water, is not considered solar energy property. Materials and components of “passive solar systems” as well as “active solar systems”, or a combination of both types of systems may qualify as solar energy property.
(2)Active solar system. An active solar system is based on the use of mechanically forced energy transfer, such as the use of fans or pumps to circulate solar generated energy, or thermal energy transfer, such as systems utilizing thermal siphon principles. Generally, this is accomplished through the use of equipment such as collectors (to absorb sunlight and create hot liquids or air), storage tanks (to store hot liquids), rockbeds (to store hot air), thermostats (to activate pumps or fans which circulate the hot liquids or air), and heat exchangers (to utilize hot liquids or air to heat air or water).
(3)Passive solar system. A passive solar system is based on the use of conductive, convective, or radiant energy transfer. In order to qualify as a passive solar system, a solar system used for heating purposes must contain all of the following: a solar collection area, an absorber, a storage mass, a heat distribution method, and heat regulation devices. The term “solar collection area” means an expanse of transparent or translucent material, such as glass which is positioned in such a manner that the rays of the sun directly strike an absorber. The term “absorber” means a surface, such as a floor, that is exposed to the rays of the sun admitted through the solar collection area, which converts solar radiation into heat, and then transfers the heat to a storage mass. The term “storage mass” means material, such as masonry, that receives and holds heat from the absorber and later releases the heat to the interior of the dwelling. The storage mass must be of sufficient volume, depth, and thermal energy capacity to store and deliver adequate amounts of solar heat for the relative size of the dwelling. In addition, the storage mass must be located so that it is capable of distributing the stored heat directly to the habitable areas of the dwelling through a heat distribution method. The term “heat distribution method” means the release of radiant heating from the storage mass within the habitable areas of the dwelling, or convective heating from the storage mass through airflow paths provided by openings or by ducts in the storage mass, to habitable areas of the dwelling. The term “heat regulations devices” means shading or venting mechanisms (such as awnings or insulated drapes) to control the amount of solar heat admitted through the solar collection areas and nighttime insulation or its equivalent to control the amount of heat permitted to escape from the interior of the dwelling.
(4)Components with dual function. To the extent that a passive or active solar system utilizes portions of the structure of a residence, only the materials and components whose sole purpose is to transmit or use solar radiation (and labor costs associated with installing such materials and components) are included within the term “solar energy property”. Accordingly, materials and components that serve a dual purpose, e.g., they have a significant structural function or are structural components of the dwelling (and labor costs associated with installing such materials and components) are not included within the term “solar energy property”. For example, roof ponds that form part of a roof (including additional structural components to support the roof), windows (including clerestories and skylights), and greenhouses do not qualify as solar energy property. However, with respect to expenditures made after December 31, 1979, a solar collector panel installed as a roof or portion thereof (including additional structural components to support the roof attributable to the collector) does not fail to qualify as solar energy property solely because it constitutes a structural component of the dwelling on which it is installed. For this purpose, the term “solar collector panel” does not include a skylight or other type of window. In the case of a trombe wall (a south facing wall composed of a mass wall and exterior glazing), the mass wall (and labor costs associated with installing the mass wall) will not qualify. However, the exterior (non-window) glazing will qualify. Any shading, venting and heat distribution mechanisms or storage systems that do not have a dual function will also qualify.
(g)Wind energy property. The term “wind energy property” means equipment (and parts solely related to the functioning of such equipment) which, when installed in connection with a dwelling, transmits or uses wind energy to produce energy in a useful form for personal residential purposes. Examples of equipment using wind energy to produce energy in a useful form are windmills, wind-driven generators, power conditioning and storage devices that use wind to generate electricity or mechanical forms of energy. Devices that use wind merely to ventilate do not qualify as wind energy property.
(h)Geothermal energy property. The term “geothermal energy property” means equipment (and parts solely related to the functioning of such equipment) necessary to transmit or use energy from a geothermal deposit to heat or cool a dwelling or provide hot water for use within the dwelling. With respect to expenditures made after December 31, 1979, the term “geothermal energy property” also means equipment (and parts solely related to the functioning of such equipment) necessary to transmit or use energy from a geothermal deposit to produce electricity for use within the dwelling. Equipment such as a pipe that serves both a geothermal function (by transmitting hot geothermal water within a dwelling) and a non-geothermal function (by transmitting hot water from a water heater within a dwelling) does not qualify as geothermal property. A geothermal deposit is a geothermal reservoir consisting of natural heat which is from an underground source and is stored in rocks or in an aqueous liquid or vapor (whether or not under pressure), having a temperature exceeding 50 degrees Celsius as measured at the wellhead or, in the case of a natural hot spring (where no well is drilled), at the intake to the distribution system.
(i)Subsidized energy financing -
(1)In general. The term “subsidized energy financing” means financing (e.g., a loan) made directly or indirectly (such as in association with, or through the facilities of, a bank or other lender) during a taxable year beginning after December 31, 1980, under a Federal, State, or local program, a principal purpose of which is to provide subsidized financing for projects designed to conserve or produce energy. For purposes of this paragraph (i), financing is made when funds that constitute subsidized energy financing are disbursed. Subsidized energy financing includes financing under a Federal, State, or local program having two or more principal purposes (provided that at least one of the principal purposes is to provide subsidized financing for projects designed to conserve or produce energy), but only to the extent that the financing -
(i) Is to be used for energy production or conservation purposes, or
(ii) Is provided out of funds designated specifically for energy production or conservation.
(2)Examples. The provisions of this paragraph (i) may be illustrated by the following examples: