Income Guidelines and Tax Resources
Federal Poverty and Area Median Income Guidelines
Many financial assistance programs base participant qualification on federal poverty guidelines and annual area median income guidelines. The guidelines below serve to inform residents of the “Low-to-Moderate Income” spectrum in Hawaii. The 2021 Annual Area Median Income Guidelines will be updated as soon as they are available.
2021 Federal Poverty Guidelines
|Persons in Family/Household||Household Total Income Poverty Guidelines|
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
Some financial assistance programs determine household eligibility based on area median income guidelines. The following four tables provide information about the 2020 area median income guidelines for the counties of Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui. These tables will be updated for 2021 as soon as they are available.
2020 Annual Area Median Income Guidelines
Source: Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation.
The following state and federal tax credits may provide eligible residents additional savings on their energy efficiency and renewable energy investments. A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the amount of taxes owed to the state or federal government. For example, if an individual owes $1,000 in taxes, but qualifies for a $500 individual tax credit, then the total amount the individual owes will equal only $500. Consult your county’s Community Action Agency before filling for any of the below tax incentives, as you may be paying more than you owe and be eligible for a tax refund.
The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is a federal tax credit that permits taxpayers to receive a 26 percent financial credit from the total cost of a renewable energy system installed on their residence. This credit is currently in the process of being phased out and will drop to 22 percent for projects installed after 12/31/2022 and before 1/1/2024. Eligible renewable energy systems include solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, solar water heaters, small wind energy systems, fuel cells, and geothermal heat pumps. Only fuel cell properties are subject to a dollar amount cap, which are capped at a maximum credit of $500 per half kilowatt (kW). If the credit earned exceeds the total amount of taxes owed by an individual in a single tax year, the taxpayer is permitted to carry this balance over into following years.
The Energy Efficiency Tax Credit for individual residents is a federal tax credit that applies to home energy efficiency improvements, including high efficiency heating, cooling, and water-heating equipment. This credit will be phased out on 1/1/2022 and is capped at $500 per individual tax credit.
The Renewable Energy Technologies Income Tax Credit (RETITC) is a Hawaii State tax credit for residential, commercial, and multi-family residential use. RETITC allows individuals or corporations to claim an income tax credit for 35 percent of the total cost for a solar PV, solar space heating, or solar thermal water heating system, subject to cap amounts. This incentive provides a 20 percent tax credit for wind powered energy systems. If the credit earned exceeds the total amount of taxes owed by an individual in a single tax year, then they are permitted to carry this balance over into following years. If an individual does not owe taxes and installed a renewable energy system, they may still qualify for a refund equal to the credit amount. Please note: the maximum incentive cap varies by technology and property type.
In 2009, the City and County of Honolulu created a real property tax exemption for alternative energy improvements. This means that any alternative energy improvements added to a property are exempt from property taxes for 25 years (until 2034). Alternative energy improvements include solar, wind, hydropower, tidal, wave, solid waste and increased efficiency in fossil fuel burning facilities. This exemption is available for residential, commercial, and industrial properties. Go to City and County of Honolulu Claim For Exemption form.
These resources are advisory and for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon to determine available assistance. Contact the appropriate agencies and entities for additional information. The listings, associations, and contacts herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not meant to be all inclusive. The Hawaii State Energy Office does not endorse or certify the individuals, organizations, or agencies on these lists. If you are an organization or agency that provides energy financial assistance services and wish to be added to the content found in these following summary pages, we welcome you to contact us and provide your information for listing.
For comments or questions about the Energy Financial Assistance Resources, please contact the Hawaii State Energy Office at [email protected].