Companies Speak Out on Tax Credits for Window Film

March 4th, 2010 by Editor

In an effort to encourage homeowners to make their homes more energy-efficient, a window film provision was added to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009. Under the new policy, homeowners who have film installed by December 31, 2010, can earn a tax credit of 30 percent of film cost with a maximum total credit of $1,500, up from the previous cap of $500. While such an incentive might seem attractive to homeowners, some in the film industry say the increase in demand has yet to arise. They do agree, though, it’s still important for dealers to continue promoting this option to homeowners.

“I think that it is great that window film is recognized for the credit … though it is very restrictive at this time,” says Patric Fransko, chief operating officer of National Glass Service Group. Frasko explains that the tax credit program is segmented geographically, so, for example, in the Southeast or Southwest, only certain films qualify.

“Also, in a lot of regions of the country it’s a non-issue, so a big portion can’t take advantage of the tax credit,” says Frasko.

Jeff Thompson with JAT Consulting Services, which handles window film consulting agrees, “The good news, is that this was another step of our industry to become more legitimate. The bad news, no window with metal framing can qualify. Promoting and participation is a key thing here—even though this program is very restrictive, it still needs to be promoted.”

Fransko adds, “I think as this decade plays out, we may find that credits issued by the power companies may be more lucrative than the credits coming from the federal government. I know in California this is already in full swing.”

Donna Wells, an industry consultant and owner of Image Imagination, agrees that California is leading the way for this type of tax credit.

“As I speak with clients, most have not used this as a marketing tool yet. I find this very interesting. A tax credit can open the door to a sale, even if the end user does not take advantage of the credit,” says Wells.

Jared Gray, owner of Pacific Window Tinting Inc. in Portland, Ore., agrees. “The tax credit helps raise awareness of the benefits of window film,” Gray tells WINDOW FILM magazine. “While it hasn’t necessarily brought new business in, it does help close deals. Just [recently] I closed a deal by discussing with the homeowners how they could use the tax credit to save money.”

And, as more and more companies continue to promote the energy-efficient benefits of window film, some dealers expect the interest in the tax credits will continue to grow.

“I think the tax credits will expand the residential market because it’s never been heavily marketed by the manufacturers,” says Peter Mott, owner of Sunmaster in Napa, Calif. “The [manufacturers’] marketing material now is promoting energy efficiency much more extensively than it used to,” Mott adds.

Read more about the industry’s response to the window film tax credit in the March-April issue of WINDOW FILM magazine.

You can also post your comments on the subject in the spaces below.

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  1. As was mentioned the tax credit is a step in the right direction. Here is the message that needs to propagate through the powers such as the IECC that govern what can and cannot qualify. In many regions only “low E2” type glass can qualify for a tax credit with a film application. When you analyze the proportionate performance increase and resulting energy savings, you will find that in many cases the increase and resulting savings is far more on clear, bronze, grey, and even low E glass than it is on a “low E2” type.

    So basically when it comes to performance enhancement of windows, the government is incentivising consumers to invest in making their already efficient glass a little bit more efficient and not supporting the part of the market that needs it the most, namely those that have the windows that can benefit the most from window film.

    We need to change this.

  2. I truly believe that the energy efficient programs proposed by the government will encourage more U.S. homeowners to make home improvements to conserve energy. In this way, people will save money from electric bills and preserve the environment.

  3. How can this be of benifit in Florida when over 90% of our window frames are metal, which does not quailify? I’m confused!

  4. It might be might seem attractive to homeowners, some in the film industry say the increase in demand has yet to arise, Melbourne Glazing has the great features of the installation and repairing Melbourne Glazing.

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