Lame Duck Session not Lame for Energy Efficiency

Release Date: Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Statement by Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan

“For the second time in a contentious lame duck session of the 112th Congress, energy efficiency proved to be the ‘bipartisan sweet spot’ on energy legislation. In the final days of 2012, Congress approved energy efficiency advancements and, in a down-to-the-wire session on the first day of the New Year, voted to extend energy efficiency tax relief through 2013 for American homeowners, workers who commute via transit, businesses, and manufacturers.

“The American Taxpayer Relief Act extends throughout this year and makes retroactive for 2012 tax credits of up to $500 for homeowners who make specific energy efficiency home improvements.

“It also continues $2,000 tax credits for 2012 and 2013 for builders of new, highly efficient homes that are helping to transform today’s housing market to save consumers money on space heating and cooling – the largest chunk of a homeowner’s energy bills. 

“And it holds down tax bills for the more than 2.7 million Americans nationwide by placing transit benefits on par with tax-free parking benefits ($240/month). 

“Finally, the measure provides tax incentives to American manufacturers of highly-efficient refrigerators, clothes washers, and dishwashers, helping to create jobs here at home while making our country more competitive abroad through development of new, innovative technologies.

“These tax benefits represent huge wins for our economy, our global competitiveness, our security, and our environment, which is why they found so much support among business and industry, consumer and environmental groups and, of course, energy efficiency advocacy groups like the Alliance to Save Energy.

“With the advocacy ‘horsepower’ that energy efficiency policy can generate, we expect the 113th Congress to be bullish in advancing meaningful national energy efficiency legislation.

Stage Set for Alliance Commission Policy Recommendations

“Shortly after the 113th Congress convenes, the Alliance will release recommendations by the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy to help define a legislative and regulatory roadmap that can allow the country to double energy productivity by the year 2030. The Alliance and its Commission will challenge the federal government and others in the public and private sectors to invest, modernize, and educate around energy efficiency to make the U.S. economy more productive.”

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