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Energy-related tax holidays in Florida, Georgia & Virginia

The kids are finally back in class. Thanks to a variety of summer sales tax holidays across the country, their parents saved some cash on school clothing and supplies.

Now a handful of states is offering energy-related sales tax holidays.

In all cases, the eligible tax-free items are Energy Star or WaterSense, certified.

Energy Star appliances and logo

These programs, run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and, in the case of Energy Star, also the Energy Department Energy, encourage the use of energy- and water-efficient products and practices.

Florida kicked off the energy-related sales tax holidays on Friday, Sept. 19. Shoppers can save on certain purchases made through Sunday, Sept. 21.

On those days, no state or local Sunshine State sales taxes are collected on the the first $1,500 spent on new Energy Star and WaterSense products. But as with other sales tax holidays, you must pay attention to the details to get the maximum tax-saving benefit.

The sales tax exemption is limited to a single purchase for each specific type of qualifying item having a sales price of $500 or more. There are no quantity limits on qualifying items with a sales price of less than $500.

This means Florida shoppers can buy as many qualifying Energy Star-rated items as they want as long as the product's value is less than $500. If, however, the product costs between $501 and $1,500, only one purchase is tax exempt.

Qualifying bigger-ticket Energy Star appliances include dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, and clothes washers and dryers. Less expensive purchases, such as air purifiers, ceiling fans and even light bulbs, also qualify.

On the H2O front, qualifying tax-free products include toilets, faucets, shower heads and irrigation controllers. Look for the WaterSense label.

Florida shoppers can check out the full tax-free product list for help in increasing their homes' energy efficiency while lowering their sales tax bills.

By the time leaves are getting their fall colors, two more states will hold energy-related sales tax holidays.

Georgia's event runs Friday, Oct. 3, through Sunday, Oct. 5. Those days, no sales tax will be due on each residential energy- and/or water-efficient product with a sales price of $1,500 or less.

Virginia wraps up 2014's energy-related sales tax holidays with its event starting Friday, Oct. 10, and continuing through Monday, Oct. 14. Certain residential Energy Star and WaterSense qualified products bought during that long weekend in the Old Dominion are tax-exempt as long as the price tag is $2,500 or less.

No more North Carolina: Tar Heel State shoppers, however, hoping to save on energy-efficient appliances are out of luck.

That state's traditional fall holiday, like its back-to-school tax-free shopping held in prior years, fell victim to the state's overall tax reform. It is no longer is on the books.

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