WASHINGTON — The Window and Door Manufacturers Assn. (WDMA), a trade association representing manufacturers of residential and commercial window, door and skylight products, applauded the passage of legislation on Mar. 10 by the U.S. Senate that would replace the .30/.30 standard to qualify for a $1,500 tax credit with the 2010 ENERGY STAR standards for windows, doors and skylights. The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), had wide bipartisan Senate support as well as broad support from the manufacturing, retail, small business, and window, door and skylight industry. The legislation was included as an amendment to the Senate's tax extenders bill.

"WDMA commends the Senate, and Senators Rockefeller and Grassley in particular, for passing this important amendment, which will allow American manufacturers to create more jobs, and as a result, provide a much-needed economic boost for the entire housing industry and help to solidify the emerging, yet tenuous, recovery," said WDMA Chairman Steve Tourek, senior vice president of Marvin Windows and Doors.

The current $1,500 tax credit, passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), limited the tax credit to windows and doors "equal to or below a U-factor of 0.30 and SGHC (solar heat gain) of 0.30," commonly known as the ".30/.30 standard." According to the WDMA, it fails to recognize that different regions of the country require different standards to achieve improved energy efficiency depending on climate and it effectively eliminates skylights from qualifying for the credit.

The Senate-passed amendment now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. This legislation would apply only to purchases made in 2010 after it is signed into law. In addition, there would be a three-month phase in where both products would qualify.

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