Replacement Window Tax Credits and Rebates
As awareness and understanding of the importance of environmental responsibility increase, the expectation that a home renovation will include energy-saving windows grows as well. The government, through the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, has taken a number of steps including providing tax credits and rebates to encourage building and renovation projects to be undertaken in a way that saves energy consumption and expenses.
 Tax Credits
The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 authorizes tax credits for homeowners who purchase energy-efficient replacement windows.
As of 2012, tax credits are available to homeowners who install energy efficient replacement windows. This tax credit may equal up to 30% of the window's cost, excluding installation. There is no upper limit for the tax credit.
As of September 2012 the law states that eligible replacement windows must meet the requirement of the Energy Star program and must be installed in the taxpayer's primary or secondary place of residents.
The IRS requests that taxpayers save the receipts of energy efficient windows' purchase along with the windows' Manufacturer's Certification Statements and be prepared to submit these documents if needed.
 Energy Star Qualified Windows
According to the Energy Star Program, windows with U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) ratings equal to or less than 0.30 are Energy Star Windows. Windows which are eligible for tax credits must display the Energy Star label but eligibility is also determined by a window's ability to reduce energy consumption in the specific location in which it is installed.
Qualification for a tax rebate is dependent on the home's geographic location. Therefore a particular window may be qualified in Texas but not in Michigan. Qualification is determined by a number of elements including the amount of glass installed, the type of glass employed, the framing material used, weatherstripping and spacers and other aspects. Window manufacturers will be able to tell the customer whether a specific replacement window model is Energy Star qualified and if so, whether it is eligible for a tax credit in that particular area.
 Non-Qualified Energy Star Windows
Some replacement windows, through Energy Star qualified products, do not qualify for a tax credit. Windows which pay the homeowner back in lower energy bills within a reasonable amount of time are not eligible for a tax credit.
 Local Programs
There are a wide variety of local programs run by individual utility companies as well as by specific state governments which offer incentives and rebates for energy efficient windows. These include local energy cooperatives, utilities, Departments of Energy, municipalities and energy authorities.
Homeowners can refer to their local state's Department of Energy to ascertain available programs in their area.
 Energy Star Program
The Energy Star program certifies that a window has the ability to resist weather, control the amount of solar gain that enters a room and limit heat transfer. Energy Star estimates that Energy Star qualified windows can lower household energy bills between seven and fifteen percent. National and local governments rely on the Energy Star certification to encourage homeowners to lower energy consumption.
Energy Star is a program of the United States Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.