Installing a new roof may be an expensive proposition for your customers, much less upgrading to one that is energy-efficient. However, roofing contractors can also leverage tax credits when offering roofing with the long-term benefits of energy-saving performance.
In 2005, the first energy efficiency tax credits were established to help incentivize homeowners to purchase these products. Tax credits are more valuable than deductions because they reduce taxes dollar-for-dollar, whereas deductions only apply a percentage to the overall tax liability.
Helping Homeowners Understand Their Investment
Before discussing tax credits, it is important to help homeowners understand the large part their home plays in their overall financial health. A U.S. Census Bureau survey found that approximately 35 percent of net worth by asset was attributed to home equity.
For most Americans, a home will be their largest purchase and their biggest investment. While kitchen and bath remodels can typically wait, postponing repairs and replacements on structural elements such as roofs may result in a negative impact on home value.
In fact, delaying or not replacing a roof that is significantly damaged or at the end of its life can be costly. Leaks may compromise structural integrity by causing joists to rot. Penetrating water can lead to mold growth that negatively impacts the health of residents. Moisture can also affect indoor air quality, as high humidity levels allow mold to grow on areas like ceilings. In addition to the potential health hazards, mold remediation is costly.
ENERGY STAR® Tax Credit Extension
To help convince homeowners to choose energy-efficient building materials, the federal government has retroactively extended the ENERGY STAR residential tax credit through Dec. 31, 2020.
To qualify for the credit, homeowners must replace the roof of their primary residence with an ENERGY STAR certified product. The credit will cover 10 percent of the cost of materials, up to $500 (labor costs are not included).
ENERGY STAR Eligibility
Roofing products eligible for the tax credit include asphalt shingles classified as cool roofs.
The surfaces of these roofing materials reflect a portion of the sun’s energy, thereby reducing the heat transfer to the interior of a structure and lessening the workload of HVAC systems. Installing a cool roof not only saves on costly utility bills, but also helps the environment by lowering the homeowner’s dependence on the local energy grid.
Performance Plus Aesthetics
Fortunately, homeowners taking advantage of the tax savings will not have to compromise when it comes to the appearance of their new roof. In the past, cool roofs were either white or a light color. In contrast, 90 percent of traditional roofs are dark-colored.
To get the best of both worlds, CertainTeed offers asphalt shingles that achieve ENERGY STAR levels in dark, rich hues. Homeowners can choose from an array of distinctive options from the Landmark Solaris® and Presidential Solaris® collections.
Roofing is an Investment, Not an Expense
Selling a new roof is never easy. Make sure to help customers understand that installing a cool roof will enable them to take advantage of the ENERGY STAR tax credit while also realizing substantial energy savings, resulting in an investment in their home that will pay dividends for years to come.