Sunday, February 06, 2011

Schwartz on Energy Efficiency Initiative

from the inbox:

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz applauded President Obama’s proposal to retrofit commercial buildings to be more energy efficient, which he announced yesterday during a visit to Penn State University. For years, Schwartz has championed the effort to make both commercial and historic buildings more energy efficient.

President Obama’s proposal will seek to make commercial buildings in America 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020 through incentives, such as tax credits and cost-effective upgrades. The tax incentive is one of five components of the new initiative, which will be included in the President’s FY 2012 budget proposal to Congress.

“Preserving old buildings is smart policy—it invests in communities and adds to their economic development,” Schwartz said. “The President’s initiative to invest in clean energy industries and make all commercial buildings more energy efficient will have a great impact on our environmental and economic future.”

In October 2009, Schwartz introduced the bipartisan Community Restoration and Revitalization Act, which would make the historic tax credit (HTC) a more efficient and effective strategy for economic development and help save the nation’s older and historic buildings for future generations. The legislation improves the current credit by targeting historic Main Street buildings, which are in critical need of economic investment. It also includes an innovative incentive to improve the energy efficiency of historic buildings when they are rehabilitated.

The HTC is the premiere federal tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic and older buildings. Over the last 28 years, the HTC has proven to be extremely successful in attracting capital to the nation’s older and historic neighborhoods.

"As Chairman of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition I believe making commercial buildings, particularly our nation's historic buildings, more energy efficient is critically important,” said John Leith Tetrault, Chairman of the HTCC. “The Coalition looks forward to working with Congress and the President to make sure this proposal is enacted."

Schwartz has also introduced the Buildings for the 21st Century Act, which would increase and extend the tax deduction for energy efficient commercial building costs.

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