Governments boost kitchen and bath activity

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (September 10, 2009) – In October, thanks to U.S. and Canadian government incentives, there’s more reason than ever for homeowners to remodel their kitchens and bathrooms during National Kitchen & Bath Month.

Inspired by the success of the "Cash for Clunkers" program in August, the U.S. Department of Energy will launch a "Cash for Appliances" program this fall, providing nearly $300 million in stimulus funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to consumers who purchase new energy-efficient kitchen appliances. In a statement announcing the plan, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, "These rebates will help families make the transition to more efficient appliances, making purchases that will directly stimulate the economy and create jobs."

This new rebate program is in addition to a number of U.S. tax credits on energy-efficient products for homes introduced earlier this year. This includes many gas, oil, electric, and solar water heaters, which are reimbursed at 30 percent of their purchase price, up to $1,500. Many energy-efficient windows, skylights, exterior doors, insulation, and HVAC systems are also eligible for a 30 percent tax credit, up to $1,500 per home (this $1,500 limit is the total for all credits applied to the home across all categories of eligible products).

In Canada, a new Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) has been introduced by the Canada Revenue Agency toward eligible renovations made to a homeowner’s primary residence. The program, which expires February 1, 2010, offers a 15 percent tax credit on home remodeling expenses over $1,000, with a maximum credit of $1,350.

The HRTC supplements Canada’s existing ecoEnergy Retrofit Homes grant offered through Natural Resources Canada. This grant provides up to $5,000 to homeowners who make renovations to their homes that reduce energy consumption and provide for a cleaner environment.

"With so many government incentives now being offered for home renovations, there has never been a better time for Americans and Canadians to remodel their kitchens and bathrooms," said 2009 NKBA President Suzie Williford. "Many of these stimulus programs won’t last long, however, so homeowners planning to remodel should contact an NKBA member soon. Consumers can easily find a kitchen and bath professional at NKBA.org/FindaPro."

Celebrated each October since its inception by the NKBA in 1982, National Kitchen & Bath Month is the ideal time of year for homeowners to remodel their kitchens and baths, after settling into the back-to-school routine, but before holiday preparations take place.

A special toolkit for National Kitchen & Bath Month is available to NKBA members that enables them to better market their business to consumers throughout October. This kit contains logos, flyers, customizable print ads, and a press release template.

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