There was a lot of buzz over energy efficiency in the past few years when the U.S. government was offering big tax credits for certain HVAC furnaces and air conditioners, to name just two of the many qualifying products. When those credits expired or were reduced for most products last year, the potential for a lot of sales expired as well. What once was an inviting $1,500 credit was now a return to the traditional selling methods of explaining the features and benefits of high efficiency products to homeowners and asking them to choose a high-end furnace or air conditioner that, under normal circumstances, they might not select.
The tax credits had a profound effect on equipment shipments, according to Steve Hoffins, York® brand manager, Johnson Controls Unitary Products. “In 2009 and 2010, there was a large shift to the higher SEER and AFUE products, as dealers found it easy to sell those premium products to homeowners with tax credits up to $1,500,” he said. “In fact, it wasn’t uncommon for a homeowner to receive as much as $3,000 back for purchasing a high-efficiency premium system. Meanwhile, the industry made a large shift to premium products as a result of the tax credits, coupled with state/local/utility rebates, along with system purchase incentives offered by manufacturers.”