Introducing the HOMES ACT
Believe it or not, there are some positive things happening in Washington DC these days that you need to be aware of.
Taking a cue from you – our members, with your bull doggedness and incessant “can do” passion for creating demand and knocking down barriers to profitable growth, Efficiency First has been quietly and effectively leading on two important pieces of legislation (proposed and pending) in your nation’s capitol, with your elected officials. So now it’s time to be a little less humble and quiet, and share some of the fruits of this work.
- The “25e” Tax Credit (proposed in the Senate)
- The HOMES Act (pending introduction in the House)
Here’s more on each:
“The Cut Energy Bills at Homes Act” (S. 1914), aka the “25e” tax credit (Sens. Snowe, Bingaman, Feinstein). Sometimes referred to as “25e,” for the new section of the Internal Revenue Code that would be established, this is bi-partisan tax legislation that would reward homeowners for reduced energy consumption as a result of a qualified whole-home energy efficiency retrofit. The legislation proposes providing up to a $5000 tax credit for a 50% reduction in home energy use. Along with our efforts to get the “25c” tax credit for individual measure improvements (air sealing, insulation, HVAC equipment, windows, etc) reinstated, the 25e tax credit would give homeowners an additional choice to pursue comprehensive whole-home improvements to their home. Learn more here.
Home Owner Managing Energy Savings (HOMES) Act (Reps. McKinley and Welch) – expected to be proposed in the coming weeks. This is bi-partisan rebate legislation that would reward homeowners for reduced energy consumption as a result of a qualified home energy efficiency retrofit. The legislation will propose offering homeowners up to $8000 rebate for a 50% reduction in home energy use. Learn more here.
A Reality Check Around Achievability –
Now for the gut check around what’s achievable during this election year. The current political gridlock in DC can make it tough to get anything substantive done, including energy efficiency legislation. So it may be that these policies do not get passed this year, and it could take a while before we cross the finish line. But in DC, you never know what can happen very quickly. While an election year doesn’t provide for the congenial compromise that’s needed to pass significant legislation, it does give us an opportunity for debate and discourse and to start building support – which is key to pushing these policies forward.
One thing that’s clear is we can’t be complacent. As business people, you know that opportunity and customers rarely fall into your lap. You have to go out and make that happen, by creating your opportunities and continually adapting and refining your strategy and plan along the way. Taking a cue from you as leaders, that’s precisely what Efficiency First is all about — pursuing the industry’s interests in Washington DC and elsewhere.
In proposing the HOMES Act and the 25e Tax Credit, Senate and House sponsors are exhibiting the type of leadership EF Members demonstrate every day in businesses by choosing to create a new reality.
Efficiency First has been leading the way for the industry, working closely with the congressional sponsors during the evolution of these bills. Though there has been compromise, we’ve worked hard to ensure that these bills would work successfully for home performance companies. And that process will be ongoing. As you learn more about these bills, please share you thoughts directly with us so that we can better understand how these bills might work for you in your market, and whether there are opportunities to make enhancements to them as they are debated in Congress.
For now, take a look at some initial resources on 25e and the HOMES Act and stay tuned for opportunities to learn more, both via webinar and at conferences like ACI National coming up later this month in Baltimore.