Consumer Energy Tax Incentives
What the Economic Stabilization Bill Means to You
The recently passed Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-343) included, extended and/or amended many consumer tax incentives originally introduced in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT).
About Tax Credits
A tax credit is generally more valuable than an equivalent tax deduction because a tax credit reduces tax dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction only removes a percentage of the tax that is owed. Consumers can itemize purchases on their federal income tax form, which will lower the total amount of tax they owe the government.
On August 8, 2005 President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), which had passed both the Senate and House of Representatives the previous week. Estimated to cost about $14.5 billion over 10 years, EPAct 2005 is the biggest overhaul of national energy policy since 1992.
For a comprehensive overview of EPAct 2005, view the “NEMA Assessment of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.”
EPAct 2005 is considered to be less ambitious on energy’s demand side than its supply side, but does include a number of energy conservation provisions supported by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), several of which are of great interest to the lighting industry.
EPAct 2005 contains a significant provision that includes a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for building owners to encourage investment in energy-efficient building systems. This provision, estimated by Congress to cost $243 million and anticipated to stimulate widespread investment, is supported by NEMA and various industry, efficiency, advocacy and environmental organizations.