Senate-Passed Energy-Efficiency Tax Incentives Benefit Consumers, Environment, National Security, Says Alliance to Save Energy

Release Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2004

“The Senate’s passage of energy-efficiency tax incentives is a huge step forward for U.S. consumers, the environment, and national security,” said Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan. “With consumers now planning summer vacations and powering up their air conditioners, we urge the House to follow suit and provide relief from record gasoline prices and high electricity bills.”

Included in the energy tax package, which the Senate attached to the foreign sales corporation/extraterritorial income (FSC/ETI) bill, are tax incentives for hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, energy-efficient new homes, energy-efficiency upgrades to existing homes, efficient residential equipment, high-efficiency appliances, efficient commercial buildings, combined heat and power, and advanced meters.

“These tax breaks not only will save consumers money, curb air pollution, and reduce our nation’s foreign oil dependence but also will spur market demand for more energy-efficient products, from vehicles to homes and appliances,” Callahan said.

“The American people are beginning to recognize that we cannot simply dig and drill our way out of high energy prices and shortages of key fuels like natural gas,” Callahan added. “Sound public policy must harness and promote energy efficiency practices and products. Energy efficiency is the quickest, cleanest, cheapest way to extend our nation’s energy supplies.”

The House version of the FSC/ETI bill does not currently contain the energy tax package approved as part of the Senate-passed measure, and it is unclear when the full House might consider the FSC/ETI bill. The House previously adopted a different energy tax package as part of its comprehensive energy bill, H.R. 6.

Given the delay in Senate consideration of a comprehensive energy bill, Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-NM), along with Alliance Vice Chair Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), supported adding the energy-efficiency tax package to the corporate tax bill, as noted above.