Anybody else super frustrated by the retroactive implementation of the tax credit?
I have 2 big problems with this:
Most all of the homes I rated last year did not pass the tax credit because I opted to not do the duct leakage to outside (LTO) test. The advice we had been given over a year ago was that it was very unlikely the tax credit would return in any form similar to what it had been, (so doing all the extra work doing the LTO would simply have been an unnecessary expense for builders already complaining about paying us to do what we do). And who would have thought otherwise, what with a complete upheaval of the political system?
How can the people who decide such stuff expect businesses to plan ahead for this by doing this only retroactively? Is this going to happen again at the end of this year???
Here in Wisconsin we can use the exemption for homes with all ducts inside to not do the LTO test but that exemption is not allowed for the tax credit so the home gets slapped with the 12% duct leakage penalty. Where does this penalty come from? I've asked many in the building science/Resnet world and can't find anyone who can tell me. I would like to see the science that justifies this penalty for homes with all ducts located inside the thermal envelope. (BTW, I totally see the sense in doing this test if any ducts are outside)
When you have homes that are regularly testing out at .2 cfm/ sq ft and below it's inconceivable that internal duct leakage could amount to more than a tiny fraction of total air leakage. Indeed, EVERY SINGLE LTO test I've done borders on not being able to get any reading at all.
Although I'm not privy to the rationale for the 12% penalty (which almost certainly came from RESNET), I too think all those annual tax credit extenders, passed after-the-fact, is an example of politics at its worse. Rather than achieving their presumed purpose of stimulating something, they create a roulette wheel scenario for businesses who would be eligible.
Indeed, plus there is a provision that the contractor must have owned the lot then sold it along with the house to qualify. What's up with that? Definitely slanted towards the production builders/developers but in my experience it's the small builders (typically those that don't "develop") that should be rewarded for pushing the market forward as far as efficiency is concerned.
Did you do a regular duct test or none at all?
As for tax credits - most of the time the builders one has been retroactively applied. most of us thought it was DOA due to incoming president and policies but alas...
I opted to not do duct testing as it's not required by our state program - unless any duct is outside of conditioned space when we will do the LTO test but not a total duct leakage test.
Because of the advice we were getting that the credit was most likely not coming back I saw it as an undue cost on the builders. That, on top of the fact that I see it as a pointless test (see my original comment), I could not see charging builders for work they really didn't need.
This retroactive implementation of the credit is pure laziness on behalf of lawmakers and now has me in hot water with my builders for not doing the tests throughout last year.