The Federal Government recently announced a tax credit for energy efficient home improvements Homeowners will receive 30% of the cost of an approved project up to $1500. On the list of energy efficient improvements are replacement windows. However, the guidelines for acceptable windows are very stringent and it’s very important that homeowners know which windows will get them the tax credit and which will not.

The government is requiring that the windows being installed must have a SHGC of .30 or less, and a U-value of .30 or less. SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) determines the amount of heat gained from the sun through a window. U-Value is the measurement used to determine how well a material allows heat to pass through (it’s the inverse of R-value). The lower the U-value the better insulated a window is.

The confusing part is that not all Energy Star rated windows qualify. This can be tricky to homeowners who are not aware of the specific requirements. In the window industry right now, most double pane windows will not qualify for this tax credit and those that do tend to have extra layers of Low-E giving the glass a more shaded appearance. Most triple pane windows already qualify, but buyer beware. Not all triple pane windows are built to last. Most manufacturers are scrambling to develop new windows that will meet the federal guidelines.

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