Senate Bill Extends Energy Efficiency Incentives

The U.S. Senate recently passed a comprehensive piece of housing legislation that included several critical tax incentives that encourage use of energy-efficient and renewable technologies.

The bill, S. 3221, designed to assist homeowners, includes several provisions that are set to expire. The tax incentives are one-year extensions that will allow homeowners and businesses to better plan for the future and should have a stimulative effect in the economy.Due to these tax incentives, such as the energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction, more energy-efficient products will be used in the marketplace.

This Senate-passed legislation includes extensions of:

• the energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction,
• the renewable energy production tax credit,
• the solar energy and fuel cell investment tax credit, and
• residential energy-efficient property tax credit.

The current commercial building tax deduction will expire Dec. 31, 2008. The deduction and incentives assist homeowners and businesses to purchase and install energy-efficient technologies, which provides economic benefits in lowering energy bills, contributing to construction and manufacturing jobs, and benefiting the environment. "While negotiations continue on a long-term extension of these tax incentives, NEMA [the National Electrical Manufacturers Association] calls upon the U.S. House of Representatives to act swiftly to pass this legislation so it can be signed into law," urged Evan Gaddis, association president and chief executive officer.

NEMA is a trade association for the electrical manufacturing industry. Its approximately 450-member companies make products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity.

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