WASHINGTON - A recent survey of Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) members revealed that nearly two-thirds of the association’s members have seen some increase in the sales of qualifying equipment since the tax credits were included in the economic stimulus legislation.

“Tax credits help drive up demand for qualified higher efficiency HVAC equipment,” said Stan Johnson, president of Stan’s Heating & Cooling in Austin, Texas, and chairman of ACCA. “Increased efficiency is the low hanging fruit in the effort to stimulate the national economy, reduce energy consumption, promote indoor air quality, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to the association, the geothermal tax credit of 30 percent of the installed costs with no limit, has led to a tremendous spike in interest and sales of geothermal systems.

“However, there have been problems with the way Congress enacted the tax credit,” said the association. “Changes made to the minimum SEER and EER ratings for central air conditioners disqualified a large number of highly-efficient equipment choices from qualifying for the tax credits.”

Along with equipment issues, ACCA said it has been hard-pressed to find incentives created for small businesses to improve energy efficiency.

With these issues in mind, Johnson appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee. The committee focused its hearing on “Economic Recovery: Tax Stimulus Items That Benefited Small Business with a Look Ahead.”

Johnson focused his testimony on the positive impact of the recent expansion of federal tax credits for high-efficiency HVACR equipment, and also pointed out the problems with the way the credits were written and are being applied. He recommended that Congress look at creating more incentives for small businesses to replace inefficient HVACR equipment as well.

A video of the hearing was made available at YouTube. Search HouseSmallBizDems and click Tax Stimulus Items 3. For more information, visit www.acca.org.

Publication date:07/27/2009