Simonton Dealers Say Window Tax Credits Working

July 28, 2009

According to several Simonton Windows dealers, the tax credit homeowners receive when purchasing qualifying energy-efficient windows has indeed helped improve their business during the first half of 2009, the vinyl window maker reports.

“Right now we believe about 10 jobs a month are being sold to homeowners specifically because of the tax credit offering, and we expect that number to increase during the second half of the year,” says Audie Stein, branch manager at Norandex in Billings, Mont. “Our contractor customers are doing a good job of educating homeowners on the potential for savings when upgrading to replacement window packages that meet the government’s specifications.

“Consumers are doing the math. The tax credit is moving those people who had contemplated replacement window projects to actually make the commitment. Once they understand that the (Simonton) ETC glass package helps them earn the tax credit and see savings on their energy bills from the day the windows are installed, they’re hooked.”

Stein reports that his Norandex branch is selling an average of 45 residential window jobs a month. “Our overall numbers are running fairly close to 2008 sales,” says Stein. “In today’s economy, I’m certain those numbers would be far lower if the tax credit was not available."

Across the country in Pittsburgh, Pa., Jim O’Bryon, window department manager for McClure Johnston, credits Simonton’s quick response to the government’s tax credit launch with helping build his sales. “Simonton immediately created marketing materials and packaged their qualifying products under the ETC glass line, making it easy for us to sell the windows to our contractor and lumberyard customers,” he says.

“We got out in front of this opportunity quickly. In many cases our contractor customers were the only ones in our market who truly knew and understood the tax credit issue. That’s helped them take full advantage of a unique selling opportunity and gain extremely high close rates."

According to O’Bryon, the tax credit incentive has allowed his company to grow during a difficult economic time. “The bottom line is that we’ve picked up new market shares and our sales are up,” he reports. “Working together with a good partner like Simonton on this issue has helped us transition the majority of our orders to ETC glass packages this year. That means solid sales for us and strong benefits for homeowners.”

The tax incentives are also having an impact in the coastal market, according to the Parkersburg, W.Va.-based manufacturer.  Down in Florida, where Clear Choice Windows and More Inc. focuses on selling impact-resistant windows to combat potential severe weather, Paul Hardy has also seen the benefits of the tax credit incentives.

“We began immediately in February to aggressively pitch the tax credit offering to homeowners and we’re seeing positive results,” says Hardy, vice president of the Tampa-based company. “We’ve seen a slight increase in our business in 2009 despite the bad economy.

“In my mind, the ETC glass packages available in the (Simonton) StormBreaker Plus product line account for the continued strength of our sales. These windows traditionally have the Solar-E glass package. The ETC Super Solar SBP glass packages match this perfectly and offer our customers the opportunity to apply for the tax credit. When you’re making the major investment of replacing windows in your home with impact-resistant windows, you appreciate any savings you can find.”

Simonton itself reported it started to bring back laid off production workers back in March. It attributed that in part to the increased sales coming from stimulus package tax credits for energy efficient windows and doors, as well as a normal seasonal upturn. The manufacturer has also branded a whole line of ETC glass packages for its windows and doors that meet the federal tax credit requirements.