After hard work by RESNET and its strategic allies, last night Congress extended the $2,000 federal tax credit for builders who build energy efficient homes. The extension is from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2011. The extension was part of a sweeping tax package negotiated by the White House and Republican Congressional leaders.
The legislation also includes a provision that extends the tax credit for consumers who purchase qualified energy saving products, but lowers the credit to its pre-economic recovery act levels. The new bill extends the credit to the end of 2011, but reduces the incentive to the original 10% up to $500. Included are provisions limiting window incentives to $200, oil and gas furnace and boiler incentives to $150-200, and water heater and wood heating system incentives to $300. As part of the legislation, Congress tightening the specifications for oil furnaces and boilers and gas boilers to 95% efficiency, up from the 90% efficiency in current credit.
The tax credit for highly energy efficient appliances was extended for one year, and the efficiency criteria and incentives have been updated to provide incentives only for products that are significantly more efficient than today’s average new product. The credit goes to manufacturers.
President Obama is expected to sign the legislation into law this week.
A priority of RESNET is 2011 is to work to have Congress enact legislation for performance based tax credits. This would include creating a performance based credit for comprehensive energy performance upgrades and a higher tax incentive for builders who build homes that are rated a 50 on the HERS Index or lower. There will be a session focused on this at the 2011 RESNET Building Performance Conference. For a schedule of sessions that will be offered at the conference click on http://archive.resnet.us/conference/2011/2011_RESNET_Building_Performance_Agenda.pdf
This post was submitted by Steve Baden.