Energy Efficiency Tax Credit Extension Urged
Testifying on July 10 on behalf of NAHB before a House Small Business Committee hearing on “The Role of Green Technologies in Spurring Economic Growth,” Cincinnati builder Andrea Lucke urged Congress to extend the New Energy Efficient Home Credit, which was enacted in 2005 and expires at the end of the year.
“The nation’s home builders have the ability to profoundly affect sustainability and conserve precious natural resources and our environment,” Lucke said. NAHB members build about 80% of the new housing units in the U.S.
Lucke, president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati and vice president of Robert Lucke Homes, also updated hearing participants on the progress of the NAHB National Green Building Program and the new National Green Building Standard.
The tax credit “is a key market incentive that shifts builders towards significant energy savings in new home construction,” she said. “The program allows a $2,000 tax credit to a home builder who constructs a qualified new energy-efficient home that is certified to achieve a 50% reduction in energy usage, thereby adding a highly efficient home that will likely remain part of the nation’s housing stock for 60 years or more.”
To encourage builders to construct more energy-efficient housing, Lucke also urged members of Congress to increase the amount of the tax credit to pay for a bigger percentage of the higher building costs that are incurred when making a home 50% more energy-efficient.
Tax incentives work because they are market driven, Lucke said, and they are a much more effective approach than mandates.
“With a tax credit, important production decisions are still reserved for builders, buyers and home owners. Consequently, a tax credit program costs little to operate and does not require expensive administrative oversight that is usually associated with a mandate,” she said. “As Congress continues to look for ways to promote energy efficiency and sustainability, NAHB urges it to use incentives, rather than mandates, to encourage the growth of green technologies.”
For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132.
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