Launches Green Innovation Initiative for 2009
Schaumburg, IL – June 3, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Congresswoman Melissa Bean met with local contractors, builders, green energy developers and environmental advocates at Roosevelt University to discuss the positive impact that energy incentives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are having on the local economy, and to announce the re-introduction of her Green Initiative to provide further incentives.
“These incentives fulfill the dual goals of the Recovery Act – immediate economic stimulus and long term growth,” Congresswoman Bean said. “By providing a lifeline to local contractors, who have seen an increase in weatherization business, we’re sustaining jobs that might have disappeared. By making homes and businesses more energy efficient and driving growth in new sectors of the energy industry, like wind, we’re putting our economy on the path to long-term prosperity and reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”
The Congresswoman announced that she will build on these gains by reintroducing a new version of her Green Innovation Initiative, which provides tax incentives for green buildings. Homebuyers and builders could each get up to $10,000 for purchase of an energy efficient home, while commercial property owners would receive enhanced tax credits for replacing outdated heating and air conditioning units with more energy efficient models.
“Our current path is unsustainable,” Bean said. “A green economy will drive growth in American jobs and competitiveness in the global economy, while preserving our planet for our children.”
Bean is also educating businesses and families about a recent Recovery Act provision that increases the tax credit for making a home more energy efficient. Homeowners can reduce the amount of taxes they owe next year by up to $1,500 by claiming credits for up to 30 percent of the cost of installing energy-efficient windows, doors, insulation, or heating and cooling equipment.
Residential builder David Faganel of Batavia told the Congresswoman that the power of these incentives is “huge” and has helped drive customers to his weatherization business, at a time when his work as a builder and developer has slowed down tremendously due to the collapse of the housing bubble.
Other stimulus provisions driving the green economy include landmark investments in alternative energy — including incentives for development of existing technology — support for smart-grid infrastructure, and increased funds for research and development. These include:
- A three-year extension of the production tax credit (PTC) for electricity derived from wind (through 2012) and for electricity derived from biomass, geothermal, hydropower, landfill gas, waste-to-energy, and marine facilities (through 2013).
- Grants of up to 30 percent of the cost of building a new renewable energy facility to address current renewable energy credit market concerns.
- A tax credit for families that purchase plug-in electric vehicles of up to $7,500 to spur the next generation of American cars.
- $1.6 billion in Clean Renewable Energy Bonds for generation of alternative energy.
- $2.4 billion in Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds for state and local governments to increase energy efficiency in government buildings and facilities.
- A new manufacturing investment tax credit for investment in advanced energy facilities, such as facilities that manufacture components for the production of renewable energy, advanced battery technology, and other innovative next-generation green technologies.
- More than $30 billion for energy initiatives such as a smart power grid, advanced battery technology, biomass energy, and energy efficiency measures.
Parthiv Amin, President of Winergy USA in Elgin, said that he predicts these incentives will drive at least a 20 percent growth in his business by 2010, with a corresponding growth in quality manufacturing jobs in the northwest suburbs.
To create further incentives and promote a healthier planet, the Congresswoman announced her Green Innovation Initiative for 2009. It includes:
The Next Generation Homes Act (H.R. 2649), which promotes the construction and purchase of energy efficient homes.
- $700 tax credit for purchasing or building Energy Star Homes, which achieve 15 percent greater efficiency than a standard home under the 2004 International Residential Code
- $2,000 tax credit for homes that are 30 percent more efficient than a standard home based on Home Energy Rating System (HERS) index.
- $5,000 tax credit for homes that are 50 percent more efficient than a standard home based on the HERS index.
- $10,000 tax credit for Zero Energy Homes according to the HERS index.
H.R. 2198, the Commercial Conservation Act, which encourages investment in newer and more efficient HVAC systems in commercial buildings.
- Changes the tax code to reduce the depreciation time for all commercial building HVAC units from 39 years to 25 years.
- Depreciation time reduced to 20 years for units that are at least 10 percent more efficient than existing standards. (10 percent better than the standard under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, or the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers Standard 90.1).
Bean Amendment to H.R. 1145, which required a national study of the effects of pharmaceuticals and household chemicals in drinking water.
- While reports confirm the presence of drugs and unregulated chemicals in our drinking water, an effective treatment strategy is not possible until the effects of different compounds on human health are understood.
- The amendment requires such a study as part of H.R. 1145, the National Water Research and Development Initiative Act. This bill coordinates national research and development efforts on water and provides for development of a national water strategy.
- PASSED by the House on April 23, 2009.
The Congresswoman’s 2008 initiative included similar bills, including one which became law:
H.R. 5372 (110th Congress), the Recycling Investment Saves Energy (RISE) Act, which promotes use of newer and better recycling equipment.
- Changes the tax code to provide a 50 percent accelerated depreciation allowance for companies to purchase advanced recycling technology, which would increase the quality and quantity of recovered material.
- Was incorporated into H.R. 1424 and SIGNED INTO LAW last year.
Congresswoman Bean hosted the roundtable discussion at Roosevelt University’s Schaumburg campus, and was introduced by Terri Friel, Dean of the Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration.
Bean has held several meetings with local officials, community leaders, and local businesses to review the Recovery Act and answer questions about the funding available for infrastructure, education, green energy and small business. She has distributed a 58-page guide to the act to all local governments and business associations. Complete information on the Recovery Act, including the guide, is available on the Congresswoman’s website at www.house.gov/bean/stimulus.
Contact: Jonathan Lipman, 202-225-3711