It's not getting a lot of attention in the partisan bickering over the tax compromise in Washington last week, but remodelers hoping for an extension of the energy efficiency tax credits look to be the big losers.
The credits (for windows, insulation, etc.) set to expire at the end of this year are being extended -- but at the much lower pre-2009 levels of 10 percent of project cost, capped at $500. Credits for window replacement are capped at $200.
$200 isn't going to make anyone replace their windows. At that price point, why bother having the credit? Many people say the expiring credits didn't create demand; that they only rewarded those who were already undertaking a project. There's no doubt that would be the case with these credits.
It's a waste of money, plain and simple. Either make the credit worthwhile, or get rid of it and spend the money on something else.