Alliance to Save Energy Urges Congress to Send President Politically Acceptable Energy Efficiency ‘Tax Extenders’ Bill
Washington, D.C., September 18, 2008 – The Alliance to Save Energy praised the Senate Democratic and Republican leadership today for reaching agreement on legislation extending energy efficiency and renewable energy tax incentives and urged Congress – before its pre-election adjournment later this month – to set aside partisan rancor and send to the president an “extenders bill.”
The agreed-upon energy efficiency tax incentive extensions would apply to consumers who make energy efficiency home improvements, builders of new energy-efficient homes, owners of new or improved energy-efficient commercial buildings, and manufacturers of energy-efficient appliances. The consumer and manufacturer tax credits expired at the end of 2007, and the commercial and builder incentives are set to expire at the end of 2008.
The legislation also includes new tax incentives for consumers who buy plug-in hybrid vehicles and utilities that install smart meter and smart grid technologies, as well as assistance for states and local governments to issue bonds to pay for conservation investments, as well as other energy-efficiency, renewable energy, and energy supply incentives.
“Since leaving the extension of key energy efficiency tax incentives out of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 last December, Congress has squandered one opportunity after another to provide relief to consumers and businesses reeling from the double whammy of spiraling energy costs and a faltering economy,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan.
“We hope this agreement by the Senate leadership will spur agreement with the House on a bill that the president will sign, and we urge the House and Senate – in the strongest possible terms – to reach agreement quickly on such a measure,” she added. “It would be inexcusable for Congress to adjourn without a tax extender bill in place because a small minority blocked passage of this essential legislation.”
The Alliance has estimated that the average U.S. household will spend about $2,350 this year on home energy, up from more than $2,100 last year.
Callahan concluded: “These tax breaks would not only help consumers and businesses lower their energy bills, they also would provide longer-term benefits for our economy by encouraging investment in new technologies that will, in turn, create new jobs, improve our environment, and protect our national energy security.”