Inflation Reduction Act incentives make window upgrades more affordable

Efficient windows are now more affordable thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden recently signed into law. The law’s name is more specific than what it actually does because it incorporates spending on energy and also some of the provisions of the proposed and then abandoned Build Back Better Act. That energy spending includes large increases to the rebates and incentives available on electric cars as well as on household equipment that boosts energy efficiency, including windows. Read the full executive order President Biden issued to speed up implementation, or this quick summary of what you need to know to start saving money:

  • There were tax credits already available for energy-efficiency home improvements, but they are much bigger now. The value of these incentives before the Inflation Reduction Act was capped at 10 percent of the price of the equipment, but that has been tripled to 30 percent. Homeowners have until 2032 to take advantage of the credits, which offer a maximum of $600 per year in tax credits for windows, and $1,200 per year overall.
  • These rebates can be claimed through your tax return, but not for 2022. The law provides broad outlines, and now it’s up to the Department of Energy to provide specific rules, which will likely come in time for 2023 or 2024, according to an analysis from CNBC. To know for sure, check back with us on our blog before you buy – we’ll keep you posted.
  • Do you have leaky windows or drafty rooms? These leaks also occur around door frames, pipes, electrical outlets, and other spots. The new High-Efficiency Electric Home Rebate Act covers all costs up to $1,600 for efficiency upgrades, including air sealing, for low-income households, according to Rewiring America. Half that amount is available for moderate-income households (to find out if you qualify, use this guide). To make things easier, these rebates are available at the point of sale, so consumers don’t have to pay the full value and then later apply for a refund on their tax returns.
  • Not sure if your house has leaks? The Inflation Reduction Act also offers a $150 rebate on home energy audits. Or you can use this guide from the Department of Energy to do that inspection yourself.

These new tax incentives aren’t the only ones currently available – federal, state, and local governments offer more, as do electricity utilities. The Efficient Windows Collaborative’s Financing and Incentives page details how to find them and claim them – it’s one of the most popular pages on the site! We’ll keep it updated as new details are released about the Inflation Reduction Act’s offerings.

Matt is a writer by trade, and also a homeowner trying to update his Baltimore townhouse into a comfortable, eco-friendly home.