Alliance: Year-End Legislation Boosts Efficiency but Misses Opportunities | Alliance to Save Energy

Alliance: Year-End Legislation Boosts Efficiency but Misses Opportunities

The Alliance to Save Energy News

Alliance: Year-End Legislation Boosts Efficiency but Misses Opportunities

Release Date: Monday, December 21, 2020


WASHINGTON – Year-end legislation unveiled by Congress Monday includes several key provisions for advancing energy efficiency but misses opportunities to leverage the full potential of efficiency to create jobs, reduce energy costs for American families, and address climate change.

The positive provisions in the package include a permanent extension of the Sec. 179D tax deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings, modest funding increases for initiatives such as ENERGY STAR and the Building Technologies Office, and provisions for reducing energy waste in the federal government, accelerating smart building technology and building-to-grid integration, encouraging waste-heat to power, and strengthening the Weatherization Assistance Program.

At the same time, Congress again failed to modernize important tax incentives encouraging efficiency improvements in new and existing homes or to expand incentives for electric vehicles. The package also omits new investments to retrofit public buildings, key provisions to improve adoption of building energy codes, and binding targets for federal energy efficiency performance.

“This has been an incredibly challenging year for the country and for the energy efficiency sector, which is by far the largest employer in the clean energy sector. This bill is a good step forward. There are many things to like in the package,” said Alliance Interim President Clay Nesler. “Making the commercial buildings efficiency tax incentive permanent will particularly go a long way toward giving the markets the certainty needed to encourage more efficiency projects, which will create thousands of jobs and sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“But with more than 300,000 energy efficiency workers unemployed and an increasingly urgent climate crisis, Congress left a lot on the table, and that’s where Washington needs to pick up in 2021,” Nesler said. “We urge the new Congress and President-elect Biden to take a close look at the role efficiency can play and put together recovery legislation that includes strong efficiency tax incentives, meaningful investments in building retrofits and weatherization assistance, and a comprehensive infrastructure plan to make our communities stronger and more sustainable.”

About the Alliance to Save Energy

Founded in 1977, the Alliance to Save Energy is a nonprofit, bipartisan alliance of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders working to expand the economy while using less energy. Our mission is to promote energy productivity worldwide – including through energy efficiency – to achieve a stronger economy, a cleaner environment and greater energy security, affordability and reliability.


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