The bill also includes extensions of a variety of renewable energy tax incentives.
Washington, D.C.: (October 3, 2008): Today, as part of the finance industry rescue package, the House of Representatives passed legislation to extend many of the Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives that were first enacted in 2005 but expired at the end of 2007 or were scheduled to expire at the end of 2008. This follows Senate passage on October 1, 2008. The bill now goes to the President, who has said he will sign the bill. The bill also includes extensions of a variety of renewable energy tax incentives. The energy efficiency provisions include:
• An extension of the commercial buildings tax deduction to the end of 2013.
• An extension of the tax credit for efficient furnaces, boilers, air conditioners, and water heaters; and insulation and window upgrades to existing homes (covering improvements installed in 2009, but not 2008).
• A one-year extension of the new energy-efficient home tax credit, to the end of 2009.
• Three years of manufacturer tax credits for sales of high-efficiency refrigerators, clothes washers, dishwashers, and dehumidifiers (2008-2010).
• A new tax credit for plug-in hybrid vehicles purchased starting in 2008 and extending until shortly after the number of qualifying vehicles reaches 250,000.
• A new 10% investment tax credit for combined heat and power systems (through 2016) • An extension of fuel cell and microturbine credits to the end of 2016.
• Accelerated depreciation for smart meters and smart grid systems.
• Extension of an existing bonding program for green buildings and sustainable design, and establishment of a new energy conservation bond program that would help local and state governments to fund energy conservation efforts.
The bill pays for these provisions by restricting several oil and gas industry tax breaks, and tightening some provisions on the sale of stocks.
"Extension of the energy efficiency tax incentives will help consumers save money on their energy bills due to lower consumption, and can also contribute to lower energy prices as lower demand changes the demand-supply balance that determines energy prices," stated Steven Nadel, Executive Director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a nonprofit research group that helped develop the original 2005 tax incentives. He noted that the present tax incentives for new homes and appliances have been particularly effective, and predicted that the multiyear extension of the commercial buildings incentive should increase the number of qualifying commercial buildings. He also welcomed the new tax incentives for combined heat and power systems and plug-in hybrid vehicles, stating "these new incentives should help these emerging industries to grow." On the other hand, he noted that several of the tax incentives are extended for only one year, meaning that Congress will need to revisit these incentives next year.
For more information on the current tax incentives, see www.energytaxincentives.org. Information on the extensions will be added to this Web site shortly.
About ACEEE: The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, contact ACEEE, 529 14th Street N.W., Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20045 or visit www.aceee.org.