Volume 40,   Issue 9                    September  2005

Energy & Environment

New Energy Law Offers Incentives 
for Using Energy-Efficient Products

On July 29 Congress passed what Sen. Pete V. Domenici, chairperson of the Energy and Natural Resources committee called “a bipartisan energy bill that will make a real difference to every American.” President Bush signed the bill into law in Albuquerque on August 8 at Sandia National Laboratories. 

The new law, which spent five years in Congress, offers numerous incentives for consumers who use energy-efficient products in their homes. Consumers can earn a tax credit of 10-percent for upgrading their homes (up to $500) with energy-efficient products, including windows. There is a $200 limit on the credit for replacing windows. The credit is expected to go into effect January 1, 2006. 

David Rodgers, senior advisor to the deputy assistant secretary for technology development with the office of energy efficiency and renewable energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, spoke about the new legislation when he addressed members of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association on August 9 in Washington, D.C. 

“The energy bill contains a significant part of what the President asked for and much more,” he said, but added that the tax credits are lower than what was proposed originally. 

“The credit started at $2,000 but by the time it got to conference it was cut to $500,” he said.

Despite these savings, Americans can also expect to see the cost of gas continue to increase. The new provision re-moves the Congressional mandate that supports adding methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) to gasoline. While MTBE reduces smog caused by automobiles, it has also been shown to contaminate well water all over the country. 

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