Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, have introduced legislation that would make it easier for consumers to take advantage of a tax incentive in the stimulus package intended to encourage the purchase and manufacture of energy-efficient doors, windows, and skylights.
"I have seen firsthand how the tax credit can make a difference, both for the West Virginia industries that produce and sell these energy efficient windows and for the families who use them. We need to make it easier for people to understand and be able to take advantage of these tax credits, so they can get more for their money, particularly during these tough economic times," said Senator Rockefeller.
"This bill allows more windows and doors to qualify for the energy-efficiency credit," Grassley said. "By doing that, it creates incentives for window and door manufacturers to create new jobs in this struggling economy. Also, this bill allows consumers to receive this energy-efficiency tax credit for doors and windows that are appropriate for their region. And it eliminates confusion created when consumers buy Energy Star windows and doors but are disappointed to learn the products don't qualify for this tax credit."
Rockefeller and Grassley's legislation changes the eligibility standard from a one-size-fits-all standard to the recently released new Energy Star standard, which takes into account regional weather differences. The Energy Star standard is widely recognized and a change in the incentive will ensure that consumers can easily determine if their windows will qualify for the expanded tax credit.
Rockefeller is a senior member and Grassley is ranking member of the Finance Committee, with jurisdiction over all tax policy.
On February 17, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. Known as the economic stimulus package, the law extends and modifies the tax credits for windows, doors, and skylights established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Qualifying products purchased between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010, are eligible for a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the product cost. The maximum amount of homeowner credit for all improvements combined (including roofing, insulation, HVAC, and water heaters) is $1,500 during 2009 and 2010.