07/30/14 : Reed Brown

Bipartisan Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act Reintroduced In Senate

On July 11th, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), reintroduced legislation that would update current tax codes for commercial roofs, creating jobs in the construction industry while expanding energy efficiency in the built environment. S.2388, the Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act, enjoys bipartisan support, with Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Dean Heller (R-NV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Alliance Honorary Vice-Chair Susan Collins (R-ME) signing on as co-sponsors. A companion bill, H.R.4740, has also been introduced to the House by Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ).

Why It Matters

There is currently a large disparity between the depreciation period for commercial roofs (39 years) and the average lifespan of those roofs (17 years). This creates a disincentive to replace old roofs because if a replacement is completed before the end of the 39 year depreciation period, the business owner would have to depreciate the new roof and continue the depreciation of the original roof. As a result, business owners would rather complete small-scale repairs to failing roofs than replace them. The Cool Roof Jobs Act would correct this discrepancy by updating the current code to reduce the depreciation period for qualified cool roof systems to a more realistic 20 years.

The Alliance’s Energy 2030 recommendations to double energy productivity by the year 2030 identifies building energy codes and efficiency standards in the “Modernize” strategy, we find that Senator Cardin’s efforts support those recommendations.

Additional Impacts

Beyond simplifying the tax code, this bipartisan bill would provide several benefits to the economy and the environment by:

  • Creating nearly 40,000 new jobs in the construction and manufacturing sectors;
  • Producing $1 billion of taxable annual revenue; and,
  • Reducing emissions by 800,000 metric tons — the equivalent of 153,000 cars.

Finally, more efficient buildings would lower energy bills of small business owners and would decrease national energy consumption. The Alliance’s Energy 2030 recommendations show that America could save $95 billion annually by 2030 by improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings.

The Alliance to Save Energy is one of many supporters of the Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act and we look forward to working with members of the both the Senate and House to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s buildings.