Alliance Urges Senate to Enact Urgently-Needed Energy-Efficiency Tax Incentives
Washington, D.C., June 30, 2008 – The Alliance to Save Energy today urged the U.S. Senate to move beyond partisan bickering and adopt a bill containing key tax credits to help consumers make their homes more energy efficient. The bill (S. 3335, The Jobs, Energy, Families & Disaster Relief Act of 2008), also includes a valuable new tax credit for plug-in electric drive vehicles.
“Today’s disappointing outcome is yet another opportunity lost by the Senate to help jumpstart our economy and help Americans meet the challenge of spiraling energy costs,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan. “The energy-efficiency tax incentives that either have expired or are about to expire would provide immediate economic stimulus by lowering consumer and business energy costs while generating new economic activity and jobs.
“At a time when American households are paying an estimated $6,300 a year in total energy costs, it is simply inexcusable for Congress to leave for the August recess without approving the ‘extenders’ bill,” Callahan continued. “The Alliance to Save Energy has projected that the average U.S. household will pay at least $6,300 this year to power its home and vehicles – that’s fully 13 percent of pre-tax earnings at the 2006 median household income of less than $50,000. The pain from these high energy prices is most severe for the 20 percent of American households – more than 26 million families – earning less than $20,000 annually,” Callahan added.
“Given the overwhelming bipartisan support for the tax incentives in both the House and Senate, the time has come for the minority of senators who are blocking Senate approval to yield to their colleagues and ‘free the extenders,’ so that at least Senate approval of the tax incentives extension can be completed before the August recess,” Callahan said.
- Key efficiency provisions of S. 3335:
- Extension through 2008 of consumer income tax credits for energy-efficient upgrades to existing homes;
- Extension through 2013 of tax deductions for energy-efficient commercial buildings;
- Modification and extension through 2010 of the existing energy-efficient tax credit for appliance manufacturers;
- A new $3,000 tax credit for qualified plug-in electric drive vehicles. The credit would increase by $200 if the qualified vehicle draws propulsion from a battery with at least five kilowatt-hours of capacity, plus another $200 for each kilowatt-hour of battery capacity above five, up to 15 kilowatt-hours;
- Employers could provide limited fringe benefits, such as storage, to employees who commute to work by bicycle; and
- Accelerated depreciation (10 years instead of 20) for taxpayers who install smart electric meters and smart electric grid systems.