Is There a Tax Credit for New Windows?
Homeowners rejoice! The government’s Home Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency Program means there is a tax credit for new windows. Details of the program can be found on Energy Star’s website. Whether homeowners qualify for the credit will be based on the energy efficiency of the windows.
The tax credit may only be taken one time per household. The maximum credit is $1500 and it’s calculated per home, not per person living in the home. So if you and a roommate or a spouse spent $3000 in windows, each of you cannot claim $1500 in tax benefit. The tax credit for the new windows will be calculated based on 30% of the total cost of materials only. If your invoice isn’t itemized, ask for one that is so the cost of windows themselves is listed separately from any labor or installation costs.
The windows must be installed on your principle residence to qualify for the tax credit. Energy Star defines a principle residence as a home you own and live in most of the time. The tax credit covers all windows, doors and skylights installed in your principle residence from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010.
Depending on when the new windows were installed, there is a difference in the requirements for window performance. Generally speaking, any Energy Star rated window should qualify, but windows installed after June 1, 2009 must meet specific criteria related to U-factor and SHGC to qualify for the tax credit. U-factor ratings mean how well the window is insulated by measuring the amount of heat that travels through the window. The lower the U-factor the better insulated the window is and for the tax credit, the U-factor needs to be less than or equal to 0.30.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how well the window blocks heat from the sun. As with U-factor, the lower the SHGC number, the better. SHGC must also be less than or equal to 0.30 to qualify for the tax credit.
Interested homeowners can also see what the optimal SHGC and U-factor is for their specific climate conditions based on Energy Star standards. For Wisconsin, the U-Factor should be less than or equal to 0.30 but any SHGC number is acceptable. There are situations where some of these numbers change slightly for windows with equivalent energy performance. If homeowners wish to take the tax credit, be sure the numbers all meet the tax credit guidelines or talk with your window contractor for additional details.
Call NEO-DYNE, a Milwaukee Window Installer, for more information: