Customers Lose As Congress Fails To Renew Energy Efficiency Tax Breaks

The Alliance to Save Energy is calling on legislators to restore common-sense energy efficiency tax breaks for American consumers and businesses that Congress –“ like a Grinch,” the energy efficiency coalition said  – allowed to expire on December 31.

Three major energy efficiency incentives expired at year-end 2016: one that rewards homeowners with up to $500 in tax credits for efficiency upgrades and equipment purchases such as weatherizing or installing new windows or heating and cooling equipment; another that rewards home builders with up to $2,000 in credits for more efficient construction; and another for efficiency improvements of commercial buildings and multi-unit residential buildings.

These incentives had been extended through 2016 as part of a $700 billion package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2015. 

“Whether it’s through tax reform or an extension of the existing incentives, Congress needs to act quickly … to insure that our tax code continues to appropriately reward … energy efficiency again,” said Alliance President Kateri Callahan.

The energy efficiency industry supports 1.9 million American jobs across a variety of sectors including construction, manufacturing, installation, and research/development, according to a recent study from E2 and E4TheFuture.

“These are people working in good-paying jobs weatherizing homes, manufacturing high-efficiency appliances and construction materials, and researching new efficiency technologies,” Callahan said. “These tax incentives are directly supporting those jobs, and these workers are the real losers as these incentives expire, along with millions of Americans who will effectively see a tax increase on making their homes more efficient.

 “I would challenge anyone to find a tax incentive that delivers that level of benefit while simultaneously putting money in Americans’ pockets through lower utility bills,” she added. “It is precisely the kind of thing we should be doing with our tax code – incentivizing behaviors that create economic activity and jobs, strengthen our national security, and improve public health.”

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