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Funding, Tax Incentives, Grants & Awards for Preservation Projects     


Funding, Tax Incentives, Grants & Awards for Preservation Projects
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Economic Stimulus Package Includes Incentives for Energy Efficiency Retrofits of Residential and Commercial Buildings
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - Economic Stimulus Package Includes Incentives for Energy Efficiency Retrofits of Residential and Commercial Buildings, National Trust for Historic Preservation, economic stimulus package
Contributed By: The National Trust for Historic Preservation's Department of Public Policy
Email The Author: pr@nthp.org
Website: http://www.nthp.org

House appropriators began the task of moving forward on an $825 billion economic stimulus package this week that includes major spending for energy efficiency initiatives that could benefit older and historic residential and commercial structures. Lawmakers hope to complete the stimulus before the start of the Presidents Day recess on February 13th.

The Appropriations Committee approved $3.5 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants Recovery, which could provide funding for retrofitting older and historic residential and commercial buildings. According to the House Appropriations committee report on their portion of the stimulus, “the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program will assist states, local governments and Indian tribes in implementing strategies to reduce fossil fuel emissions created as a result of activities within the jurisdictions of the eligible entities and reduce the total energy use. Activities eligible to receive funding include: conducting residential and commercial building energy audits; establishing financial incentives programs for energy efficiency improvements; grants to non-profits organizations to perform energy efficiency retrofits; developing/implementing programs to conserve energy used in transportation; developing and implementing building codes and inspections services to promote building energy efficiency; installing light emitting diodes (LEDs); and developing, implementing, and installing on or in any government building on-site renewable energy technology that generates electricity from renewable sources.”

In a separate markup of the tax portion of the stimulus plan, the House Ways and Means committee approved a scaled-down version of the National Trust’s proposed tax incentive for energy retrofits for homeowners. Under the Committee’s proposal, homeowners making energy efficiency improvements to existing homes, who are now eligible for a 10 percent tax credit, would see that boosted to 30 percent, with a cap of $1,500. The National Trust had proposed an expansion of the non-business energy tax credit, which was created under Section 1333 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, from a 10% credit capped at $500 to a 20% credit with a maximum cap of $5,000 to provide enough incentive for historic homeowners to make energy-efficiency retrofits. In addition, the Trust advocates expanding the non-business energy credit to fund not only equipment, such as Energy Star-rated hot water heaters, but also include the labor and material costs of more traditional weatherization in these homes — such as insulating windows and doors, for example.

The National Trust hopes to continue to shape the debate on how financial incentives and grant programs for energy efficiency can benefit older and historic buildings as the legislative process moves forward. On that note, House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey (D-WI) said House leaders would like to have the stimulus bill on the floor by January 28th.

Reprinted by permission of the Public Policy Department of the National Trust


Keywords: Economic Stimulus Package Includes Incentives for Energy Efficiency Retrofits of Residential and Commercial Buildings, National Trust for Historic Preservation, economic stimulus package

Posted: January 27, 2009
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Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
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