Solatube eChoice makes tubular skylights more efficient & less expensive

June 30, 2009

Solatube recently announced upgrades to two models of their tubular daylighting devices (tubular skylights).  The upgrades qualify their products for a 30% Federal Tax Credit under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The two qualifying products are the 160DSe and the 290DSe.  Both are improvements upon the 160DS (the one I installed in my home), and the 290DS.

Solatube is the first company with tubular daylighting devices that exceed low Solar Heat Gain Coefficients (SHGC), and U-Factor ratings specified in the federal Act.     This is why their products qualify for the Federal tax credit!

What are SHGC and U-Factor you ask?  These ratings come from the National Fenestration Rating Council. We demystify both terms in detail for you in a previous article here on GetWithGreen.  Essentially, a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient means that your window or tubular device will block heat from sunlight.  A low U-Factor means that heat has a difficult time escaping.  These ratings matter to you because the tube from these skylights runs through your attic.  You want to prevent as much heat from coming in during the summer, and limit the amount of heat lost during the winter.    The lower these ratings, the less your attic Read more

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Andersen Windows talks stimulus rebates for your remodel

March 30, 2009

Not that I wanted to post two window rebate articles in a row, but it happens.  Listening to NPR today while driving, I heard Andersen Corp CEO Jim Humphrey give his perspective on the current stimulus package, and it’s applicability for homeowners looking to remodel their windows.

Like Pella below, Andersen is also trying to translate the recent stimulus package into a language homeowners can understand.  This short audio file posted on the NPR website is a quick listen with some good insight for homeowners.  Check it out if you are looking to buy new windows for your remodel.

Andersen Windows Federal Energy Tax Credit interview

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Learn about 2009 window and door tax credits

March 11, 2009

This week Pella summarized some of the new tax credits for energy improvements.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed into law Feb. 17, 2009 includes tax credits for qualifying energy-saving home improvements. Immediately replacing the previous Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 tax credit for ENERGY STAR® windows and doors, the new stimulus bill significantly raises performance requirements for windows and doors qualifying for credits.

  • Eligible window and door products now have to be equal to or below a 0.30 U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30 for all U.S. climate zones.
    • The U-Factor measures heat transmission through a window or door — a lower U-Factor equals better insulation.
    • SHGC measures how well a window or door blocks heat from sunlight.  The lower the value the better the unit keeps out solar heat.
    • We have some good information on decoding window specifications on
  • Between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010, U.S. homeowners may claim a tax credit up to 30 percent of the cost of qualifying replacement windows and doors installed in their principal residence, not exceeding $1,500.
  • The tax credit applies to the price of qualifying windows and doors, but does not cover installation, on-site preparation, assembly or sales tax.
  • You can find the qualifying Pella products at Window Tax Credit.   (How bummed am I that I bought my Pella Designer windows in November of last year!?)

*Please be sure to consult your tax professional to determine if the windows you purchase are eligible for the U.S. tax credit.

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