Package Offers Some Hope for Window Film
With so much news lately swirling around energy and the economic
stimulus package, it stands to reason that many of these provisions
could find their way into window film sales. On February 17th, President
Obama signed a $789 billion stimulus bill that includes tax credits
for homeowners choosing to make energy-efficient home improvements.
Window film is considered an insulation material under the Act,
so should homeowners decide to take advantage of this offering,
part of the money spent could end up in the pockets of window film
dealers, distributors and manufacturers.
Under section 25C of the Internal Revenue Code (I.R.C.), homeowners
can receive a 10 percent credit on the costs of "qualified
energy efficiency improvements," including solar control window
film on windows, doors, and skylights. This tax credit applies to
improvements made to a primary residence from January 1, 2009 through
Dec. 31, 2009.
Do Your Homework
Window film manufacturers have begun a stimulus plan of their own,
urging dealers to help their customers take advantage of these tax
offerings. But, before rushing out to promote these options, dealers
will need to consult with their manufacturers first, as not all
products qualify. Window film products are able to qualify for the
tax credit only if the manufacturer certifies that, similar to insulation,
the film meets the statutory criteria.
San Diego-based Bekaert Specialty Films issued a press release
informing its dealers that homeowners who install the company's
Panorama window film on their windows and glass doors are eligible
for a credit of 10 percent of the cost, up to $500. CPFilms issued
a similar release, explaining that consumers who purchase "most
types" of LLumar, Vista, and Gila solar control window film
brands from professional distributors or dealers for residential
use are eligible for the 2009 tax credit.
Unlike a deduction, which reduces the amount of income subject
to tax, a tax credit directly reduces the amount of income tax owed.
To receive the tax credit, consumers are required to submit IRS
Form 5695 with their 2009 Income Tax Return and manufacturers are
urging their customers to retain copies of the dealer invoice and
a manufacturer's certification statement (CLICK
HERE for a copy of form 5695).
On the commercial side of things, a deduction is available to property
owners under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), which has been
extended for commercial buildings through 2013. The deduction equals
the cost of the energy-efficient improvement, with a maximum deduction
of $1.80 per square foot.
Other Promising Signs
In addition to tax credits for improvements, an $8,000 tax credit
aimed at first time homebuyers and those purchasing primary residences
offers some promise of jarring real estate markets back into action.
And, if these measures serve to stimulate the market enough, excess
new home stocks could begin to dwindle, bringing builders back to
life--representing yet another potentially revived customer base.
To add to the builder-window film relationship, homebuilders are
eligible for a $2,000 tax credit for a new energy efficient home
that achieves 50 percent energy savings for heating and cooling
over the 2004 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and
supplements. At least one-fifth of the energy savings must come
from building envelope improvements and it is possible that window
film could serve a contributing factor.
Stimulus plan aside, some property owners will continue to seek
energy improvements, even without tax breaks. Mike Feldman, the
Tampa, Fla.-based president of Advanced Film Solutions Inc., says
local energy companies are providing a stimulus package of their
"Energy costs are rising and our local power companies have
just hiked our rates by a huge percentage in January, 2009,"
Feldman explains. Feldman hopes this will move property owners to
improve efficiency. "Solar control window films reduce energy
costs by up to 30 percent," he says. "There has never
been a better time for our solutions."
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