If the Energy Tax Policy Act of 2001, recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, is approved by the Senate, consumer demand for energy-efficient building products will be on the rise: Included in the act is a provision that would allow a 20% tax credit, up to $2,000, on energy-efficient upgrades to existing homes.
Energy-efficient windows are likely to be a popular choice with homeowners. "Windows are one of the easiest and most efficient ways to save energy costs," says Alan Hanbury of House of Hanbury, Newington, Conn. The number of calls his company received for energy-efficient windows mushroomed in March and has continued to be strong this summer. In fact, focus groups conducted by the National Fenestration Rating Council in May 2000 and January 2001 show that consumers have energy efficiency at the top of their lists when shopping for windows.
In light of the act, as well as new state regulations—such as California standards requiring builders to increase energy efficiency in new construction by at least 12%—Blaine Verdoorn, business and industry analysis manager for Andersen Windows, expects the increased demand for energy-efficient products to be a long-term trend.