The much talked about American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes an energy tax credit for qualified energy-efficiency improvements in a taxpayer’s principal residence, including heating, air conditioning, and water heating equipment.

As appropriately pointed out in a recent release from the Service Roundtable, you’d better get busy because once the tax credit is gone, there isn’t going to be anymore left. What this means is that weatherproofing companies and others outside of HVACR may be vying for those tax credit benefits for their customers, too.

However, there is more than one leg to this tax credit opportunity.Example No. 1:30 percent of a qualified energy-efficiency appliance improvement up to a $1,500 tax credit is available to customers for 2009 and 2010. Just one $1,500 credit. Not two.

There is also another opportunity for a tax credit for renewable energy products, but this one is 30 percent of the improvement up to - now listen to this - there is no cap. That’s right. A renewable is classified as solar, geothermal, wind power, or a similar technology.Example No. 2:Geothermal heat pumps for residential applications (new, retrofit, primary and non-primary residences) will receive a 30 percent tax credit starting Jan. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2016.

There are a few other aspects of the stimulus package that may play into the hands of contractors. For instance, school modernization projects were left in the package and could result in some construction coming through at an opportune time, such as when commercial backlogs of projects begin to dry up.