June 4, 2020
Contact: Francis Dietz
Arlington, Va. — A number of American manufacturers of heating, cooling, and water heating products and equipment – members of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) -- joined more than 750 contractors and distributors from across the country in asking Congress to extend and expand existing tax credits for home energy efficiency improvements.
In a letter to House and Senate leadership, the companies, which represent some 2.4 million American jobs, requested the extension as a means to help equipment manufacturers, technicians, installers, distributors, and homeowners alike in weathering the pandemic that has cost more than 400,000 jobs since March of this year.
AHRI is in strong support of extending and expanding the tax credit as a means of restarting the moribund economy brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. "This expansion would be a shot in the arm for manufacturers, distributors, installers, and consumers alike and would go a long way toward jump-starting our economy," said AHRI Sr. Vice President of Government Affairs Samantha Slater.
"This tax credit has a proven track record. It puts contractors and manufacturers in this industry back to work while making home improvements that lower homeowners' heating and cooling bills, improve home comfort, and address important environmental objectives," the letter states, while seeking a reset of the lifetime single-use cap on the credit and raising the amount from the current 10-15 percent of eligible expenditures to 30 percent, up to $2,400, for the purchase and installation of energy efficient cooling and heating systems, windows, insulation, water heaters, and other energy efficiency improvements.
The letter touts the success of a similar initiative, during the recession of 2008-2009, that raised the credit to $1,500 for certain equipment, which drove "billions of dollars in economic activity."
In closing, the letter notes that "nearly 80 percent of energy efficiency companies have fewer than 20 employees, and these small businesses have been the hardest hit in our sector by the pandemic shutdown, with workers unable to get into homes and buildings to do their work," and concludes that "providing a robust tax incentive for homeowner energy efficiency improvements will quickly restart this industry and help put these workers back on the job."
The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) is the trade association representing manufacturers of air conditioning, heating, and commercial refrigeration, and water heating equipment. An internationally recognized advocate for the industry, AHRI develops standards for and certifies the performance of many of these products. AHRI's 300+ member companies manufacture quality, efficient, and innovative residential and commercial air conditioning, space heating, water heating, and commercial refrigeration equipment and components for sale in North America and around the world.