The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute applauded congressional leaders for bringing President Obama an economic stimulus bill that AHRI says provides numerous incentives to upgrade the U.S.'s heating and cooling system infrastructure, creating thousands of jobs, reducing buildings' energy costs, and helping achieve the nation's environmental goals faster.
"This bill provides enhanced incentives for consumers to upgrade existing heating and cooling equipment and it provides funding for the federal government, states, and cities to improve energy efficiency in buildings and schools," said AHRI president Stephen Yurek. "We are thrilled that there appears to be a paradigm shift in how policymakers view our industry. They now rightly see us as the solution providers we are and they have provided the market stimulus to help us provide those energy saving solutions for the good of the nation."
For consumers, AHRI says the bill includes:
• An uncapped 30% tax credit for the purchase of solar water heaters and geothermal heat pumps (those who purchase such equipment can claim a credit for a full 30% of the purchase price, regardless of the total cost).
• A US$1500 aggregate tax credit, beginning with the date of enactment (Feb. 17, 2009), that consumers can claim for qualified energy efficient home improvements. The efficiency levels for split air-conditioners and heat pumps have been modified to reflect the highest tier of the 2009 CEE specification. Therefore, says AHRI, only 95% AFUE gas furnaces; 90% AFUE oil furnaces; 16 SEER/13EER and above central air-conditioners; 15 SEER/12.5 EER/8.5 HSPF split heat pumps; .82 energy factor/90 thermal efficiency gas, propane, or oil water heaters; and 90% AFUE gas, propane, or oil-fired boilers would qualify. This provision replaces the current tax incentives for these products.
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