Despite a last minute flourish by Congress in December to extend the federal payroll tax holiday and the unemployment benefits until the end of February, no action was taken on extending the residential energy tax credits. For the first time since 2008, there is no federal income tax credit allowing a taxpayer to claim up to $500 for installing energy efficiency improvements in their homes.

There is a chance that Congress will extend the residential energy tax credits when it returns to action later this month and apply the changes retroactively to the January 1, 2012. But there’s no guarantee of when or if that will happen. Check out this great blog entry from ACCA to get a feeling for the current “thinking” in the other Washington.