AAMA asks to extend, expand tax credits

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and its members are asking the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to support legislation that would extend and expand the 25C tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements, including ENERGY STAR® products such as doors and windows.

As part of the economic stimulus bill, these proposals would extend the 25C credit until 2010 and expand the credit to provide consumers up to 30% of the costs for qualified energy-efficient home improvements, with a total cap of $1,500 per home. "Presently, consumers are only afforded a credit of 10% of the costs for qualified energy-efficient home improvements with a total annual cap of $500," explains Rich Walker, AAMA's President and CEO. "As the costs for energy-efficient home improvements can easily exceed $10,000, the current credit is not meaningful in changing consumer behavior. Driving demand for these products can play an important role in protecting the environment and saving our energy resources."

Walker continues, "In the short term, investments in the efficiency of existing homes will create and retain U.S. manufacturing, distribution and construction jobs. In the long term, it will help reduce carbon emissions, while reducing our aggregate demand for energy, our dependence on foreign sources of oil and the energy bills of hard-working Americans. It is in the national interest to help the ENERGY STAR program reach its full potential."

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if all consumers bought ENERGY STAR qualified products, Americans would save more than $100 billion in energy costs during the next 15 years. Walker adds, "In fact, homeowners can save up to 30% in annual energy costs with ENERGY STAR home improvements. While the energy savings realized with ENERGY STAR technology are well documented – and while manufacturers have invested in manufacturing products that deliver superior energy-efficiency – incentivizing consumer behavior is the next step needed to encourage homeowners to invest in making our nation more energy-efficient. If we cannot expand consumer demand for ENERGY STAR products, homeowners will continue to rely on less efficient home technology and the demands on our energy infrastructure will continue to increase."

"In short, these proposals will build consumer demand for energy-saving technology, create thousands of jobs, save precious energy resources and reduce consumer energy bills," concludes Walker. "Quite simply, expanding these consumer tax credits is good for the economy and good for the environment."

AAMA has provided sample letters to Congress pertaining to Section 1621 of H.R. 598, and to the U.S. Senate American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009, available for download at: www.aamanet.org/mp/AAMA_Member_Stimulus_Letter_to_House_109.doc www.aamanet.org/mp/AAMA_Member_Stimulus_Letter_to_House_109.doc www.aamanet.org/mp/AAMA_Member_Stimulus_Letter_to_Senate_109.doc www.aamanet.org/mp/AAMA_Member_Stimulus_Letter_to_Senate_109.doc

For more information on AAMA's leadership and activities, please visit www.aamanet.org or call 847-303-5664.