While the recent passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and its members with a source of cautious optimism, the association is asking the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to consider modifying specific language pertaining to expanded tax credits for energy-efficient windows, doors and skylights through 2010.
AAMA's President and CEO Rich Walker explains, "As part of the economic stimulus bill, there is language that extends the 25C credit until 2010 and expands the credit to provide consumers up to 30% of the costs for qualified energy-efficient home improvements, with a total cap of $1,500 per home. While this is a dramatic improvement over the prior cap of $500, there is a catch: windows, doors and skylights must maintain both a 0.3 U-factor and a 0.3 Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) to qualify for the fenestration tax credit. These values conflict with the proposed ENERGY STAR® U-factors and SHGC values and their application to appropriate regions in the United States."
Together with its members, AAMA is urging Congress to reconcile the conflicting language in Part III Energy Conservation Incentives, Section 1121, with ENERGY STAR criteria for fenestration products. Walker states, "The ENERGY STAR performance criteria were established through years of cooperative effort between the Department of Energy and window, door and skylight industry professionals and were accepted as the definitive requirement within the previous tax credit. Our industry, as a whole, has worked diligently to design their products and put in place the testing and quality control procedures to ensure compliance with ENERGY STAR requirements."
"As it's currently written, the stimulus bill sets a somewhat arbitrary standard that not only eliminates the majority of proven energy efficient window, door and skylight products available today, but also fails to take into account distinct differences in performance required by different climatic regions in our country," says Walker. "The combination of the sour economy and the impractical product performance provisions of the stimulus bill present our industry with enormous challenges. Realistic and technically sound fenestration provisions in the stimulus bill can provide a much-needed boost to the remodeling segment of the marketplace. AAMA will be marshalling the grassroots strength of our members and their employees in the coming weeks to lobby for a catalyst rather than a tranquilizer."
AAMA has provided its members with sample letters to Congress pertaining to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, available for download via the Members Only area.
For more information on AAMA's leadership and activities, please visit www.aamanet.org  or call 847-303-5664.
AAMA is the source of performance standards, product certification, and educational programs for the fenestration industry.