Tax incentives boost window sales

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            PARKERSBURG, W. Va. – Is it working? Yes! According to several distributors of Simonton windows, the tax credit homeowners receive when purchasing qualifying energy-efficient windows has helped improve their business during the first half of 2009.

            “Right now we believe about 10 jobs a month are being sold to homeowners specifically because of the tax credit offering, and we expect that number to increase during the second half of the year,” says Audie Stein, branch manager at Norandex in Billings, Mont. “Our contractor customers are doing a good job of educating homeowners on the potential for savings when upgrading to replacement window packages that meet the government’s specifications.

            “Consumers are doing the math. The tax credit is moving those people who had contemplated replacement window projects to actually make the commitment. Once they understand that the ETC glass package helps them earn the tax credit and see savings on their energy bills from the day the windows are installed, they’re hooked.”

            Stein reports that his Norandex branch is selling an average of 45 residential window jobs a month. “Our overall numbers are running fairly close to 2008 sales,” says Stein. “In today’s economy, I’m certain those numbers would be far lower if the tax credit was not available.”

            Across the country in Pittsburgh, Penn., Jim O’Bryon credits Simonton’s quick response to the government’s tax credit launch with helping build his sales. “Simonton immediately created marketing materials and packaged their qualifying products under the ETC glass line, making it easy for us to sell the windows to our contractor and lumberyard customers,” says O’Bryon, window department manager for McClure Johnston.

            “We got out in front of this opportunity quickly. In many cases our contractor customers were the only ones in our market who truly knew and understood the tax credit issue. That’s helped them take full advantage of a unique selling opportunity and gain extremely high close rates.”

            According to O’Bryon, the tax credit incentive has allowed his company to grow during a difficult economic time. “The bottom line is that we’ve picked up new market shares and our sales are up,” says O’Bryon

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