Saving Money With Energy Star
Incentives For Green Living
By taking advantage of the Energy Star program, you can earn tax credit and save money on heating and cooling bills at the same time. The tax credit is designed to provide an incentive for homeowners to update their houses’ infrastructure while using less energy. If you’re going to go green, you might as well save some money while you’re doing it!
The energy star tax credit program applies to many home improvements, including the installation of new energy-efficient doors, skylights, solar panels, and of course windows. In order to qualify for the tax credit, the windows must meet certain specifications for energy efficiency. In general, these specifications have to do with two things: U Factor and SHGC.
Measuring Energy Efficiency
The U Factor (also known as the U value) of a material (also known as the thermal conductivity is a measurement of how well that material transmits heat. For windows, doors, and insulation, a low U Factor is a very good thing. The less heat your windows allow through, the cooler your house stays in the summer and the warmer it stays in the winter. For your windows to be considered energy-efficient by the energy star program—and in order for you to qualify for a tax credit—they must have a U Factor of 0.3 or less.
The SHGC, or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, of a material is very similar to the U factor. The SHGC measures a window’s ability to reduce “heat gain” when it is directly exposed to radiation from the sun. As with the U factor, having windows with a lower SHGC means that less heat gets through, reducing heating and cooling costs for the homeowner. In order for your replacement windows to qualify for the applicable tax credit, their SHGC must be 0.3 or less.
If you want to save money on energy but are not ready to replace entire windows, you might consider storm windows. Storm windows can be a good way to reduce energy bills without going to all the expense of replacing windows, and installing them can qualify you for a tax-credit under the energy star program.
For the qualifying homeowner, the energy star program can result in savings of 30% on the cost of replacement windows, up to a maximum of $1,500. To talk with a window-replacement expert equipped to answer all of your questions and provide you with the information necessary to make an informed decision, feel free to fill out the contact form above.