The Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) continues to lead the charge for advocacy to improve conditions for door and window manufacturers, making our collective voice heard at the federal level.  In particular, the organization is working hard behind the scenes on three important issues that promise positive impacts on energy savings, job creation and environmental stewardship. It appears to be working.

  1. Portman-Shaheen Bill continues to move through Senate:

Just as I was ready to write this one off as D.O.A., the bipartisan Senate duo of Rob Portman, R-Ohio and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., announced on Friday that the proposed Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (ESIC), aimed at increasing energy-efficient technology utilized in the building sector, has passed through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

This was an unexpected and welcome turn of events, as I was all but sure it wouldn’t pass through the committee’s chair, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK. I’m sure there will be more to come after the August recess, but I’m cautiously optimistic that the popular bill might pull through after all, thanks in part to the efforts of the WDMA.

  1. WDMA lobbies for transparency and cost-effectiveness in building code language:

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power is working on a comprehensive energy package, but has omitted the Blackburn-Schrader language that encourages transparency and cost-effectiveness in the development of building energy codes.

WDMA is focused on restoring this language, as well as including elements of the SAVE Act, which incorporates energy efficiency into the mortgage underwriting process – a very good thing for our industry.

  1. 25C and 179D Tax Breaks could be extended:

 This is excellent and unexpected news for the door and window industry. The Senate Committee on Finance voted to approve semi-annual tax extenders including 25C, which offers a lifetime tax credit for doors and windows of 10 percent, and 179D, which provides a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for commercial buildings that exceed specific energy-efficiency minimums. The challenge will be getting this through the House; but the fact that it is even on the agenda is positive.

The View from Here is that we have more reasons than ever to be optimistic about the movement of federal legislation that will have positive impacts on the fenestration industry. Hopefully this momentum will continue into the fall. To learn more about the WDMA’s advocacy efforts or to get involved, visit the federal issues page.

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