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NAHB Pushes for More Federal Tax Credits for Home Efficiency
Nov 1, 2010
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NAHB is reminding consumer that U.S. tax credit for efficiency upgrades - including certain types of water heaters, heat pumps, air-conditioners, and furnaces – are available for 30% of the cost up to $1,500 for 2009 and 2010.

Tax credit for efficiency upgrades in existing homes (Internal Revenue Code Section 25C) may also cover insulation, windows, and roofs. The National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) offers more details for consumers at:
www.nahb.org/efficiencytaxcredit.

NAHB PUSHES FOR MORE

"We think it would be a great benefit to both the environment and to our economy to extend these tax benefits, but they are scheduled to expire at the end of the year," said NAHB Remodelers Chair Donna Shirey, a remodeler and builder in Issaquah, WA.

NAHB also continues to push for the return of the section 45L tax credit for new, energy-efficient home construction, which expired at the end of 2009. The section 45L tax credit was the only federal incentive available for efficiency in new home construction; about 10% of new homes sold in 2009 qualified.

A tax credit available under tax code section 25D is also available for equipment that uses renewable energy, such as wind, solar, geothermal, or fuel cells. Like the 25C credit, the 25D credit can be used for up to 30% of the cost of qualifying products, but there is no lifetime limit and the program does not expire until the end of 2016.

NAHB continues to push for extension and expansion of a variety of energy-efficiency incentives in both new and existing homes, but the current political climate is making such advocacy efforts challenging. For example, the national Home Star program (often referred to as "Cash for Caulkers") sought to create a $5 billion national energy efficiency rebate system, but it did not get approved by Congress this year.

"We understand that there are trade-offs and budgetary considerations for all these programs," Shirey said. "Tax credits can take advantage of the existing administrative infrastructure – the Internal Revenue Service – to immediately get off the ground."

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