Knowing to which doors and windows that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (AARA) of 2009 tax credits apply isn’t so easy. But Andersen Corp. is making it easier for building professionals as well as their customers to identify which of their products qualify. DWM magazine talked with Stephanie Miller, director of marketing, about this program and how it is helping clear a cloud of confusion.

“We really wanted to package our program [EcoExcel] in a way that would make it simple for consumers and trades people to understand,” Miller explains.

Miller says Andersen is very close to its dealer network and it was they that gave them feedback that more information needed to be supplied by the manufacturer.

“We have an extensive call center here for both consumers and trades people, and when the tax credit was first announced, our calls increased substantially. The call center tracks what types of calls they are getting and what types of things we need to put answers to out there. They received calls from consumers and trades people asking, ‘Does this qualify? I don’t understand, and I’m thinking about doing my windows or replacing a patio door.’

Andersen Corp. is answering these questions on its website at www.andersendwindows.com, where it has devoted section to the tax credit. And consumers and building professionals can find a list of products that apply.

But Andersen doesn’t only want to supply the industry and consumers with products that apply, they also want to let them know what kind of documentation is necessary.

“Part of our EcoExcel campaign is not only telling consumers and trades people which of our products qualify for the tax credit, but also telling them what kind of documentation they need to get,” Miller says. “We know that the way the tax credit was written, you only get the credit towards the price of the actual product, not installation. So builders do need to separate out and give the homeowner a receipt where they can document what product they bought and how much that product is separate from installation, which they don’t always do. That is something we have actually heard from our dealer network.”

On the website, the company also supplies a manufacturer’s certification letter that homeowners can keep for their tax records.

Andersen didn’t create new products to meet these tax credit requirements.

“We created this EcoExcel brand by looking across our portfolio. We didn’t created anything new in terms of our products,” Miller explains. “What we did was repackage the products we already had that are energy-efficient and meet the tax credit criteria and packaged them underneath this EcoExcel brand name.

Miller adds, “Basically to consumers and trades people, we are saying, ‘If it has EcoExcel on it, you don’t have to worry. It meets the tax credit criteria.'”

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