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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bailout for the Little Guy - Save Energy and Get a Tax Credit Too

Special Earth Day edition

People have been complaining that everyone but the regular folks are getting a bailout – while overlooking a valuable new tax break for the ordinary Jane and Joe’s like you and me. It also fits in with Earth Day. It was included in the American Recovery Act of 2009.

It is a 30% tax credit up to $1,500 for the cost of qualifying products installed in 2009 that increase energy efficiency. As you know, a tax credit is better than a deduction because it cuts taxes owed dollar-for-dollar.

Houses lose most of their energy due to roofs and windows. Sun penetrates both. A simple silver spray on an attic can form a radiant barrier and substantially cut attic heat and loss of energy though the roof. According to the Department of Energy, as much as 60% of your house energy is lost through the windows, which are the weakest link and are easily breached by humans or storms. There is a solution.

Solar Security window film does three things: (1) it cuts up to 70% of the solar heat coming through your windows, (2) provides protection from window breach by Hurricane and tornado wind-borne debris, hail, golf balls, burglars, etc. and (3) qualifies for a 30% tax credit up to $1,500 depending on the frames and windows. It also cuts cancer-causing, furnishing fading UV rays by 99%. Radiant barriers are equally important. Each technology cuts the owner’s electricity costs, making it a win-win.

The right window film can cut power bills up to 30%. Anybody with a primary home gets the tax credit. What is there not to like about that?

So don’t listen to the whiners who say the Congress didn’t do anything for the little guy (yes, this bill received zero votes from the GOP Reps, but they still get the tax credit if they buy the products). If your morals requiring passing on the tax credit for ordinary people like us, you can ignore it. And you can continue paying more money to your power company if you so desire.

I do not so desire. The less energy I use the more money I save and put in my pocket and the less oil we have to import or coal we have to burn. The more we all save in energy costs the better off we are.

My only suggestion for improvement is the tax credits apply to ANY film that cuts solar heating over 50% or more and forget about the type of window frame and whether it is a single or double pane. Who cares what kind of window it is as long as the product cuts the solar heat, right? People need solar relief and a cost break. It should also apply to all solar security films since they cut property losses from storms.

I like the security of not having to worry about the tornado and 60-mph winds breaching bare windows, like those that hit us in Seabrook over the weekend, or the next Hurricane IKE or hail storm. Who wants flying glass and rain pouring in?

So Congress DID pass a bill that gives a tax credit to every Joe and Jane Doe who has a primary residence and upgrades its energy efficiency (the bill received ZERO GOP House votes, FYI. If your morals or philosophy opposes this tax credit as a ‘bailout,’ no one will make you take it or cut your energy bills).

But don’t take my word for it. Google the energy efficiency section of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 and check out the tax credit for your own benefit.

Then look for vendors in your area with radiant barriers and solar films and similar green products that will save you money and/or protect you, your property, your children and your pets.

I saw many companies doing just that at the Houston Green Expo this weekend. My company was one of them. We are creating the green jobs of today and tomorrow that will take our economy to a new level and a sustainable future.

We already have a huge backlog of business and will need months to catch up, so this is not about us. It’s about a trend toward green jobs and green tech. Congress is finally helping make it happen.

It feels GREAT to be in a GREEN business that both saves energy and protects people.

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