Builders Say House Energy Legislation Will Promote Home Energy Efficiency

Comprehensive energy legislation passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives would encourage thousands of home builders to seek technical advances that increase energy efficiency, promote energy conservation in new and existing homes and help reduce America’s dependence on oil imports, according to the nation’s home builders.“The housing provisions in H.R. 6, the ‘Energy Policy Act of 2003,’ include key home energy efficiency tax credits originally introduced by Rep.

Jerry Weller (R-Ill.), with some modifications. The legislation would spur builders to invest in market- and technology-driven initiatives that would promote higher levels of energy efficiency at more reasonable costs,” said Jerry Howard, executive vice president and CEO of NAHB.

For new home construction the legislation would provide builders with a voluntary tax credit of $2,000 for each home built to 30 percent above the 2000 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Building to 30 percent above the 2000 IECC is more energy efficient than the U.S. government’s current energy efficiency gold standard – Energy Star.

“This will motivate builders to take on the challenges of building higher energy efficiency into new homes. In turn, builders will have an incentive to market their energy efficient homes to consumers, spurring demand for higher energy efficiency homes in the market at an affordable price,” said Howard.

H.R. 6 also provides consumers a tax credit of up to $2,000 on the cost of qualified home remodeling projects that improve energy efficiency. “This provision encourages individual households to upgrade the energy efficiency of their homes, helping families shave hundreds of dollars off of their annual heating and cooling bills,” said Howard, who noted that reduced energy consumption eases America’s reliance on imported oil.

When House and Senate bills are considered in a conference committee, NAHB will be lobbying on behalf of restoring a tax credit of $2.25 per square foot for multifamily buildings that are 50 percent more efficient than properties built to standards of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. This credit was dropped from H.R. 6 prior to that bill’s passage.

The Senate energy tax package — which includes home energy efficiency tax credits at levels slightly lower than those in the House bill — is making its way through committee and is not expected to be ready for a vote on the full Senate floor until later this spring.

600450 Builders Say House Energy Legislation Will Promote Home Energy Efficiency

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