The Alliance to Save Energy (ASE) released a statement today expressing its dissatisfaction with legislation moving through congress, suggesting that it fails to include needed reforms to energy efficiency tax incentives for homes and buildings.

Amendments added to the Further Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2020 would extend tax incentives until the end of 2020 for meeting certain energy-efficient building standards.

ASE, a nonprofit alliance of businesses, government, environmental and consumer leaders, has pushed Congress to pass two bills that would reinstate, strengthen and expand the energy efficiency tax credits.

The Home Energy Savings Act and New Home Energy Efficiency Act offer homeowners and new-home builders increased incentives for achieving updated standards and goals. The bills were announced as a continuation and expansion of previous incentives, which expired in 2017.

ASE president Clay Nesler gave his opinion on the proposed amendment which extends the current program until December 31, 2020.

“For energy efficiency tax incentives to work, we need forward-looking, predictable policy so that businesses and consumers can plan around them,” Nesler said. “This package doesn’t accomplish that. It simply extends outdated incentives to expire again in a year.”

The amendment addresses the three primary tax incentives that have previously driven efficiency improvements in buildings, according to ASE officials:

  • Section 25C, a credit for existing home improvements;
  • Section 45L, a credit for new home construction; and
  • Section 179D, a deduction for commercial buildings.

ASE officials said these incentives have “worked sporadically” and with “muted impact” due to lapses and outdated standards that don’t account for efficiency advances in homes, buildings and equipment.

Nesler added, “There’s bipartisan support for modernizing these efficiency incentives, and Congress should go back to the drawing board and put together a tax package that includes long-term, modernized incentives for energy efficiency.”

Officials for the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) expressed the same concern.

“If Congress is going to continue to authorize these tax credits, they should consider longer-term authorizations to eliminate the need to look retroactively, along with considering the effectiveness of the current levels, like the 25C credit,” said WDMA director of government affairs Kevin McKenney.

McKenney said the association will continue working to achieve energy-efficient incentives for doors and windows.

[DWM] reached out to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for their position but they were unable to comment by press time.

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