WASHINGTON - Congress has extended the Commercial Building Tax Deduction through its passage of the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (H.R. 6111), which contains a measure continuing the deduction for one year.
The Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) sought an extension for the deduction, originally provided in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, because it was set to expire at the end of 2007. In a jointly sponsored Capitol Hill briefing, ARI and ASHRAE explained to congressional staff that the two-year lifespan of the deduction was too short a period for commercial builders to take advantage of it.
"We asked Congress to give these incentives time to work and they have given us another year, but this still falls short of the four-year extension we believe is needed," said ARI General Counsel Stephen Yurek. "ARI and ASHRAE will continue to work in partnership to strengthen and extend energy-efficiency tax incentives during the next legislative session."
For commercial buildings, the incentives provide a deduction up to $1.80 per square foot for buildings designed to use 50 percent less energy than required by the model commercial building energy code (ASHRAE 90.1). Before the extension, the deduction applied to buildings placed in service between Jan. 1, 2006 through Dec. 31, 2007.
The ARI/ASHRAE briefing was moderated by ASHRAE’s Director of Government Affairs Doug Read. Featured speakers at the event included incoming House Science Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.); Harry Misuriello, energy efficiency strategies manager at Owens Corning; Steven Rosenstock, P.E., energy solutions manager for Edison Electric Institute; and Kyle Pitsor, vice president of government relations for the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

Publication date: 12/18/2006