Coalition Urges Senate to Extend Energy Incentives

A collation of more than 100 retailers, manufacturers, trade and groups and advocacy organization called on the U.S. Senate yesterday to pass bipartisan legislation that extends renewable energy and efficiency tax credits that have already expired or will expire at the end of the year, in hopes that the incentives would strengthen the renewable energy industry and expand the market for energy-efficient products. Historically, Congress has extended clean energy tax incentives in only two-year increments, creating a boom-bust cycle that impedes industry development, the collation said, noting that an ideal Senate tax incentive package would extend incentives for wind, solar and biomass for a number of years to provide stability that financial investors need to back new projects. The collation also urged the Senate to extend tax incentives for creating energy-efficient buildings and investing solar electric systems, to name a few. For commercial real estate, this would provide more renewable energy options for both landlords and tenants, depending on their location, Frank Mobilio, senior project manager of The Staubach Co.’s design and construction consulting services, told CPN today. “The boom and bust cycle especially does not help end users,” he said. “These credits should be maintained for continuous long-term budgets.” And by extending energy tax incentives, Congress will be encouraging the rapid rollout of a new generation of high-performance, energy-efficient green buildings, noted Jeffrey DeBoer, president & CEO of policy organization Real Estate Roundtable, in a release. “With energy prices soaring, passing these incentives is just common sense and key for any credible energy policy.” The business-consumer coalition includes 47 manufacturers, including Dow Chemical, DuPont, Owens Corning and Whirlpool; eight retailers, including Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart; 23 trade associations, including the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the National Association of Homebuilders and the National Small Business Association; 25 advocacy groups, including Environment America, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists; and 10 utilities, including Constellation Energy, Exelon and Florida Power & Light.