Murrysville, PA (PressExposure) April 07, 2009 -- Within President Obama's new stimulus bill, the Government has created tax credits for a number of energy saving home improvement projects. Top of the list is a $1,500 Credit for homeowners who replace their old windows and doors with energy efficient products. This Credit is better than a Deduction because it will result in a $1,500 increase in the Refund check consumers get back from the Government. This is not only a step forward in helping to grow the economy, but it's also going to help consumers to receive better energy performing products for a lower price.
How does this new bill cut costs and increase performance? Well, with this Credit, the criteria is being increased for what is considered an energy efficient window or door. Manufacturers who don't meet the requirements are trying to improve the performance of their products to meet this Tax Credit criteria. So, in the end, the consumer will receive a Credit of 30% up to $1,500 of the purchase price for a product that will help to make their homes more energy efficient while also lowering energy bills.
Performance and quality versus price has always been an issue in the home improvement industry. This Tax Credit is a step in the right direction for companies who have always manufactured their products to the highest of standards, but have had to battle the lower-priced competition when selling to consumers. What these new requirements bring to light is the fact that products with the highest energy efficiency levels typically cost more than standard products. For those consumers shopping primarily on price, they may get a cheap deal forthright, but they will not receive the Tax Credit, and they will not see a decrease in their energy bills based on the performance of the products. In fact, many products that meet Energy Star criteria for Western Pennsylvania will not conform to the requirements of the tax code. A written certification assuring compliance from the manufacturer, not the sales organization, is required by the new law.
Contractors whose products already qualify are looking for this to help boost sales. They are also hoping this will eliminate some of the companies out there who give contractors a bad reputation. The government seems to be catching on to this as the Pennsylvania legislature just approved the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act in the fall of 2008. This will require all contractors to register with the Bureau General of Consumer Protection of the Pennsylvania Attorney General. They are required to have all of their contracts in line with the new requirements and register by July 1, 2009.
A lot of what is being required by contractors through the new Tax Credit and the Consumer Protection Act are things that homeowners aren't even aware they should be looking for before hiring a company to handle their home improvement projects. People don't know what they don't know. They don't educate themselves beforehand and once the work is already done, it is too late. With the busy spring season beginning and the new Energy Tax Credit in place, more and more people will be replacing products within their home. As people begin to do more home improvements, these issues will become more prevalent.
One local company, Energy Swing Windows, a family-owned manufacturer and retail operation located in Murrysville, makes every effort to educate the consumer before even putting a price on the table. Energy Swing Windows' owner, Steve Rennekamp, has more than forty years of experience in the home improvement industry and is an expert in the energy performance of windows and doors. He has won many national industry awards and was also one of the pioneers who developed the initial standards now used to test window and door products for energy performance. Since many products will not be eligible for the Tax Credit because they do not meet the performance requirements of the new law, Rennekamp is trying to educate consumers who may have questions regarding the stipulations around the Tax Credit.
For consumers who would like more information, Rennekamp will be speaking during a Seminar on Window and Door Tax Credits being held on April 25th during a Spring Design Expo that will be held at the Energy Swing Windows manufacturing facility and showroom. The Expo lasts from 9am until 3pm, with the Seminar running at 9:30am, 11:30am, and 1:30pm. For more information you can also call 724-387-2991.