Senate Bill Brings Back Energy Star Criteria for Tax Credits

March 15, 2010

The Window and Door Manufacturers Association is applauding the passage of legislation by the U.S. Senate last week that would replace the .30/.30 standard to qualify for a $1,500 tax credit with the 2010 Energy Star standards for windows, doors and skylights. The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), had wide bipartisan Senate support as well as broad support from the manufacturing, retail, small business, and window, door and skylight industry, WDMA reports.

"WDMA commends the Senate, and Senators Rockefeller and Grassley in particular, for passing this important amendment, which will allow American manufacturers to create more jobs, and as a result, provide a much-needed economic boost for the entire housing industry and help to solidify the emerging, yet tenuous, recovery," said WDMA Chairman Steve Tourek, senior vice president of Marvin Windows & Doors. "This is welcome news for low- and middle-income consumers who will have not only more options for energy-efficient windows, but also, these consumers will be able to choose windows that are appropriate to their region of the country. Simply put, more energy-efficient products produced by more manufacturers available to more consumers is a win-win-win for the American economy."

The change to the tax credit criteria does not have universal industry support, however.  According to a blog  in The Hill, Andersen Windows opposes the change. The company argues that with only months left before the tax credits expire at the end of 2010, a change in the requirements would simply create confusion in the market at this point, it is reported.

The Senate-passed amendment now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.  This legislation would apply only to purchases made in 2010 after it is signed into law, WDMA reports. In addition, there would be a three-month phase in where both products would qualify.

The legislation to change the tax credit criteria to 2010 Energy Star was included as an amendment to the Senate's tax extenders bill.  Meanwhile, the draft Home Star bill introduced for discussion in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committe includes the .30/.30 criteria.