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Industry: Stimulus could hurt Pilkington, other glass makers

Post Time:Mar 31,2009Classify:Industry NewsView:346

A few words included in one paragraph of the federal government’s massive stimulus package could spell lost business for glass makers, including Scotland County's Pilkington.

The stimulus legislation gives homeowners making energy-efficient improvements a tax credit of 30 percent of the cost of the project, up to a total of $1,500.

But, the stimulus legislation passed by Congress included criteria that would exclude many glass products from being eligible for the tax credit.

According to the final version of the legislation, to qualify for the tax credit, windows, doors and skylights placed in service after Feb. 17, 2009, must have a U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of less than or equal to 0.30. Not all Energy Star labeled windows and skylights qualify for the tax credit.

The U factor and SHGC represent ranges that homeowners can use to determine the best type of windows to install in their homes, based on the climate in which they live.

The criteria regarding windows and doors was not included in the House version, while the Senate version didn’t include the language until “the last minute.”

U.S. Rep. Phil Roe plans to introduce a bill that would strike a paragraph from the tax credit section of the stimulus plan.

Roe said he knows the language was inserted in the legislation by the Senate, “but we are still not sure why.”

“This legislation was supposed to spur the economy and create jobs. It’s ironic that by placing a provision in there that arbitrarily rewards some companies and punishes others — this bill has the potential to do just the opposite of what the proponents of the economic stimulus claimed it would do,” Roe said.

Officials with Pilkington could not be reached for comment.

But Chris Correnti, vice president with AGC Flat Glass, supports the amendment. His company is based in Tennessee.

“When this criteria was published in the bill, it gave us and others in the industry a lot of concern. The type of products that we were planning to make at Greenland would not qualify for the tax credit,” Correnti said.

“This is a very serious concern — it puts into question, what are we going to do now and what’s that going to mean for the future of selling those products in the U.S.?”

Source: laurinburgexchange.comAuthor: shangyi

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