Bill Tying Tax Credits to Energy Star Introduced in House

November 24, 2009

Legislation tying the federal tax credit for windows, doors and skylights to 2010 Energy Star standards introduced by Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) in the House is being applauded by the Window & Door Manufacturers Association. The bill (H.R. 4112), identical to U.S. Senate legislation (S. 1792) introduced in October, would apply to purchases made in 2010.

The bill has bipartisan support and was introduced with seven co-sponsors, according to WDMA. In addition, Yarmuth is a member of the influential House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax issues.

"WDMA commends Congressman Yarmuth for introducing his bill, which will correct the one-size-fits-all approach of the current tax credit and help consumers purchase the most appropriate energy efficient windows, doors and skylights for their region of the country," says Michael O'Brien, WDMA executive vice president. "Further, the legislation will allow American manufacturers to create more jobs, and as a result, provide a much-needed economic boost to the entire housing industry."

The current $1,500 tax credit, passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, limited the tax credit to windows, doors and skylights "equal to or below a U-factor of 0.30 and SGHC (solar heat gain) of 0.30," commonly known as the .30/.30 standard. Proponents of the new legislation argue that It fails to recognize that different regions of the country require different standards to achieve improved energy efficiency depending on climate and it effectively eliminates skylights from qualifying for the credit.