how to qualify for tax credit on energy efficient windows

How to Qualify for Tax Credit on Energy Efficient Windows

The federal income tax credit for energy efficient window replacements has been raised recently. Purchases on windows could be reimbursed for 30% of their total expense up to $1,500 for every household, if you qualify. This latter figure represents a 50% increase over the same tax credit of two years ago. This tax credit is applicable to income taxes filed for 2009 and 2010 according to the economic stimulus bill signed on February 17th by President Barack Obama. So exactly what steps are needed to get back 30% of the expenses you’ve put towards your energy saving project? Here are the basics on how to qualify for tax credit on energy efficient windows, laid out for you.

The 30/30 Criteria

To qualify for this green tax credit, filers will need to meet what’s called the ’30/30′ criteria. Two metrics are taken into consideration here: a window’s ‘U-factor’ and its ‘solar heat gain coefficient,’ or SHGC. U-factor measures how much heat is conducted by the glass itself, while solar heat gain is a measurement of how much heat will be absorbed in a closed room through the window. Every window purchased having a U-factor and SHGC below .30 could qualify for a tax credit, so check the windows for labels to this effect and save them. They will be a crucial component of your file when that step comes.

Unlike tax credits for energy efficient doors and windows in prior years, the 30/30 criteria is stricter than the government’s Energy Star rating program so look carefully at the label before buying. Not all Energy Star labeled Windows and doors will qualify.

Although windows and doors must be Energy Star certified to qualify for the credit, they will only pass with a U-factor and SHGC both falling below the .30 mark.

Introducing Energy Star, with a Few Pointers on Window Types and Materials

Currently, the most energy efficient windows on the market are triple-pane glass windows insulated with argon gas. Check the window’s label for the acronym IGU, standing for ‘insulated gas unit.’ Almost without fail these will pass for the tax credit and save you the most on your energy bill. Double-pane glass windows that are similarly insulated are also likely to qualify and perfect to fend from the Texas heat. Yet again, the material and build of the windows are not the sole criteria for eligibility; only Energy Star labeled doors and windows with passing U-factor and SHGC numbers are counted toward the tax credit, so be absolutely sure to check for these figures on the window before having it installed. Double-paned windows will often qualify, but you’ll need the Energy Star label for your file in any case, so you’re better off safe than sorry here.

At Inside Out Home Improvement, we help our customers find out if the window they are considering to purchase will qualify for the new tax credit whenever there arises doubt. If necessary, one of our representatives will help you contact the window manufacturer directly. We use the highest quality double-pane insulated windows that have low emissive coating, filled with either argon or krypton gas that are Energy Star certified and qualify for the tax credit. We know this an assuring thing for a new customer to hear, we do what works best for you.

Gather it Up and Turn it In

The relevant paperwork for this tax credit is the IRS Form 5695. The form must be filled and returned with receipts and manufacturer labels for every window installed. Be reminded that the tax credit only applies to appropriately labeled windows, and the cost of preparing, assembling, and installing the windows are not covered. Moreover, sales taxes are excluded from the credit, and windows purchased for installation in new homes won’t he reimbursed either. Still, this is one good way to go green and maximize your tax return in the process!

Final Thoughts

My wish is for this to be for your benefit, I don’t won’t to be misleading. The $1500 tax credit is only for windows installed before the end of 2010, the new tax credit is only about $200 for windows installed in 2011. It’s true that triple pain windows are more efficient to a point but they really aren’t neccessary in our climate, the main thing to look at in Texas is double pain w/Lo-E and argon gas. And as long as the U-factor and the SHGC meet the Energy Star criteria they will do great in our harsh climate. If you have any questions about your windows or replacement window options, Call Us Today at (214) 642-2279!