Volume 11, Issue 1 - January/February 2010

Energy and Environmental News

House Introduces Bill Tying Tax Credit to Energy Star® Criteria

The U.S. House of Representatives currently is reviewing a bill that would modify the requirements for doors, windows and skylights to be eligible for the “non-business energy property” tax credits in the Internal Revenue Code to align it with the Energy Star® criteria. The bill was introduced in early November by Rep. John Yarmuth (D – Ky.).

If passed, the bill would make it so that the tax code calls for the doors, windows and skylights that provide for a tax credit to “meet the criteria for such components established by the 2010 Energy Star Program Requirements for Windows, Doors and Skylights, Version 5.0 (or any subsequent version of such requirements, which is in effect after January 4, 2010).”

If passed, H.R. 4112 would apply to any doors, windows and skylights “placed in service” after December 31, 2009. The bill currently is under review of the House’s ways and means committee.

The bill is accompanied by a similar bill in the Senate, sponsored by Sen. John Rockefeller (D – W.Va.). Sen. Rockefeller introduced S. 1792 in October, and at press time it was in the hands of the Senate’s finance committee.

Previously, the tax credit legislation, introduced in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, called for what since has been dubbed “.30/.30”—a U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient of .30 or lower (see related story in May-June 2009 DWM, page 22).

Green Building Means Nearly 8 Million Jobs by 2014
Despite a challenging economic outlook, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the American economy—including $396 billion in wages—over the next four years (2009-2013), according to a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The study also determined that green construction spending currently supports more than 2 million American jobs and generates more than $100 billion in gross domestic product and wages.

The economic impact of the total green construction market from 2000 to 2008, the study found, contributed $178 billion to U.S. gross domestic product; created or saved 2.4 million direct, indirect and induced jobs; and generated $123 billion in wages.

The study was released at the USGBC’s annual GreenBuild conference in November.

“Our goal is for the phrase ‘green building’ to become obsolete, by making all building and retrofits green – and transforming every job in our industry into a green job,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of USGBC.

Maritech Finds “Green Approved” Program Helps Company Work with Builders
“Everyone says they are green, but what is [green] really?” The answer to this question, posed by David Decker, president of Maritech Windows, came in the form of a recently released program from the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), the “Green Approved” rating system, which qualifies companies as “Green Approved” based on their processes, including manufacturing, recycling, lighting, etc., and Decker says the company has found becoming “Green Approved” has reaped some benefits in defining what green is.

“It is a long process with a lot of paperwork, but it is worth it,” says Decker. “We wanted to get something we knew would stand out to builders.”

But so far, Decker says the efforts have paid off for his company, which is based in Carrollton, Texas.

“Participation in the program has been huge for us,” says Decker. “We were able to pick up a lot of builders and distributors solely due to the program.”

Serious Receives DOE Assistance for Pledging Commitment to Industrial Energy Efficiency
Serious Materials recently was recognized by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) new Save Energy Now® LEADER program, which was created to provide technical assistance and resources to companies that pledge significant improvements in industrial energy efficiency. Serious and 31other companies signed a voluntary pledge to establish energy use and energy intensity baselines, and develop an energy management plan over the next 12 months.

The LEADER program is a new component of the existing Save Energy Now initiative. Other industry-related companies that took the pledge include PPG Industries, 3M, Dow Chemical, and Sherwin Williams.


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