Alliance to Save Energy Commends House-Senate Agreement on Energy Efficiency Provisions in Tax Extenders Bill | Alliance to Save Energy

Alliance to Save Energy Commends House-Senate Agreement on Energy Efficiency Provisions in Tax Extenders Bill

Release Date: Friday, May 21, 2010

Washington, D.C., May 20, 2010 – The Alliance to Save Energy today commended the chairs of Congress's tax-writing committees – Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.) of the House Ways and Means Committee and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) of the Senate Finance Committee – for including important energy efficiency provisions in their joint legislation announced today.

"The energy efficiency provisions in the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act, a 'merger' of bills previously passed by both houses of Congress, will benefit consumers, businesses and the American economy at large," said Alliance Director of Policy Lowell Ungar.

The bill's energy efficiency provisions:

  • Reinstate for this calendar year the now-expired tax credit for builders of energy-efficient new homes;
  • Allow homeowners who purchase energy-efficient windows that meet updated Energy Star requirements (rather than current, different criteria) to qualify for the 30 percent federal income tax credit of up to $1,500;
  • Allow manufacturers of energy-efficient appliances to opt for a direct payment worth 85 percent of the tax credit for which they are currently eligible, but which they cannot take because they are not earning a profit during the downturn; and
  • Reinstate for this calendar year the alternative motor vehicle credit for heavy hybrids (vehicles that are not passenger vehicles nor light trucks).

In the four years that the homebuilder tax credit was in effect (until it expired on December 31, 2009), 89,657 of the new homes constructed in the United States qualified for the tax credit, according to the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET). In 2009, the number of qualifying homes equaled 10 percent of all homes sold nationwide, RESNET added, noting that the number of new homes verified as being eligible for the tax credit increased from 2008 to 2009, even though overall new home sales declined from 485,000 to 374,000.

"We urge the House and Senate to adopt these important tax provisions that would advance our nation's energy efficiency while helping the lagging home construction industry, provide a helping hand to struggling manufacturers of energy-saving appliances and help consumers buy efficient homes and appliances," Ungar said.