The Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes a 30% tax credit -- up to $1,500 -- for residential window replacement. Green building experts say the legislation is flawed in that it limits window choices by setting a maximum solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.30. This limitation "fails to recognize the benefits of windows for passive solar heating," according to Alex Wilson writing for buildinggreen.com.
Wilson reports that efforts were made to make the "criteria tougher" for determining which windows would be eligible for the tax credit, but that the "recommendations came from policymakers rather than energy experts." Wilson cites John Carmody (Center for Sustainable Building Research) as one of the experts displeased with the administration's approach.