AHRI Pleased with Energy Incentives in 'Rescue Bill'

The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) has expressed its approval to the U.S. Senate for including energy tax credits in the pending rescue bill facing a vote Oct. 3.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provided valuable federal tax credits for consumers who purchased and made specific energy efficiency upgrades to their homes such as installing highly efficient central air conditioners, furnaces, water heaters, boilers and heat pumps. Those incentives, which expired last year, will be extended through 2009 if the Senate-passed bill is ultimately signed into law.

“Incentives work because they offset the initial purchase cost, while paving the way to greater energy savings down the road, which is good for consumers, the economy and the environment,” said AHRI President Stephen Yurek.

For commercial buildings, the Senate bill extends for five more years a tax deduction for expenses incurred for energy efficient building expenditures made by a building owner. The deduction is limited to $1.80 per square foot of the property, with allowances for partial deductions for improvements in interior lighting, HVAC and hot water systems, and building envelope systems.

“This extension provides a more realistic time period for building owners to take advantage of the incentive,” said Yurek. “It takes, on average, 5 years from commissioning to completion of a new building, but the deduction, which was included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and expires this year, only gave building owners two years to take advantage of it. This severely limited the value of the incentive and its original intent of achieving a nation of high performance buildings and reducing peak electrical demand.” Visit www.ari.org for additional information.

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