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April 7, 2008: Congress Continues to Address Energy Issues

WASHINGTON - Congress continues to move on a major piece of legislation - energy efficiency tax incentives - reports the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Action on extending the tax incentives has passed the House and is under consideration in the Senate, which makes extension legislation possible in 2008.

Federal energy efficiency tax incentives were passed by Congress in 2005, but some of these incentives expired at the end of 2007 and others will expire at the end of 2008. In February, the House of Representatives passed legislation to extend the tax incentives for commercial buildings, appliances, existing homes (including HVAC equipment), fuel cells, and home solar systems. The legislation also adds new tax credits for plug-in hybrid vehicles and home wind systems.

Discussions are now proceeding in the Senate on what modifications to make to the House bill, and how to pay for these changes (or how to find revenues to offset the cost of these incentives). Based on past actions of the Senate Finance Committee, ACEEE expects it to add an extension of the tax credit for efficient new homes. Of course, Senate action on the bill is not guaranteed.

Publication date: 04/07/2008

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