Efficiency Tax Incentives Extended, But Longer Fix Needed
WASHINGTON – The Alliance to Save Energy released the following statement from Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications Ben Evans in response to the U.S. House and Senate passing and the president signing budget legislation that includes updates to three energy-efficiency tax incentives:
“We are pleased that Congress recognized the value of energy efficiency incentives by reinstating them for 2017. But unfortunately, under this bill we still don’t have forward-looking tax policy encouraging energy efficiency. To incentivize behavior what we really need is predictable, long-term policy that rewards homeowners and builders for efficiency improvements and high-efficiency construction. Houses and buildings account for about 40 percent of U.S. energy consumption, and often will be in the ground for 50 years or longer, so it’s critical that we get this right.”
“It’s not just about reducing energy waste. These incentives have significant ripple effects throughout the economy in terms of creating construction and manufacturing jobs, reducing demand on strained utility grids, putting more money in the pockets of business and consumers, and significantly reducing harmful emissions. It’s just smart policy, and we need to continue them or we’re missing a huge opportunity.”
“We look forward to working with the Finance and Ways and Means committees on modernizing these incentives and implementing them long-term to maximize the benefits to consumers and businesses.”
Three major energy efficiency incentives expired on Dec. 31, 2016: one that incentivizes homeowners for efficiency upgrades and equipment purchases such as weatherizing or installing new windows or more efficient heating and cooling equipment; another that incentivizes home builders for more efficient construction; and the third for efficiency improvements of commercial buildings and multi-unit residential buildings. The Alliance has called for updating and reinstating those or implementing new incentives that encourage, for example, public-private partnerships or master limited partnerships around efficiency projects. The continuing resolution passed by both chambers of Congress today would extend each of the provisions through Dec. 31, 2017. For more information about the incentives, read the Alliance’s fact sheet.
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.