The federal Energy Star Web site offers a valuable handhold for understanding the sometimes complicated details of the tax-credit program. Energy Star, a collaboration between the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, evaluates the efficiency of a variety of home products, including dishwashers and insulation.
The ones that pass muster receive an Energy Star rating. For more information, look for the chart on the Energy Star website that lists which home improvements are covered under the tax credit, and be sure to see the links to qualifying products. In the meantime, here's our summary of the main categories for savings.