WDDA Urges Senators to Strengthen Window Credits

October 12, 2010

In letters of support for new tax credits for energy efficient home upgrades sent to Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Jeff Bingamon (D-N.M.) last week, the Window & Door Dealers Alliance offered several "suggestions for improvement" to the proposed legislation. In particular, the letter points to a $200 credit for Energy Star-qualified windows in the draft bill as "an insufficient incentive."

Specifically, the letter points out that the current bill supports heating equipment upgrades with larger credits than window and door replacement. "It is important to note the vital role that windows and doors play in any building’s energy use. Inefficient windows and doors are often the weak link in a building’s envelope," writes David Walker, WDDA VP. "It makes little sense to burn fossil fuels to create heat that escapes the building envelope. For this reason, consumers should be encouraged to replace inefficient windows as a first step."

The draft legislation includes a tiered set of credits for window replacement–one capped at $200 and another for R-5 and more efficient products capped at $1,000. WDDA supports a tiered approach, but the letter recommends a $1,500 credit on the lower-ranked Energy Star products and the full $3,000 credit on higher-value products.

WDDA hopes to meet soon with the senators' staff members to make its case for strengthening the window credits, Walker states.  While the chances of the legislation are uncertain, those supporting the bill are hoping to get it included as part of an omnibus tax bill that Congress will consider in the lame duck session after the November elections, he reports.  That overall bill would encompass the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire at year-end, something that is liikely to come to a vote, he adds.