NRDC Applauds Sen. Bob Smith for Introducing Legislation Providing Tax Incentives for Energy-Efficient Buildings

Businesses and Consumers Would Save Money and Cut Pollution

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 13, 2000) - NRDC hailed new landmark environmental legislation (S. 2718) sponsored by Sen. Bob Smith (R-N.H) that would provide tax incentives for advanced energy-efficient buildings. The bill would help prevent blackouts and brownouts, promote economic competitiveness, save businesses and consumers money, and significantly cut air pollution, according to the group.

"At a time when the Department of Energy is predicting brownouts and high electricity prices, Senator Smith’s bill will help ensure electric grid reliability as early as next year," says David B. Goldstein, energy program director for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council). "Senator Smith is demonstrating leadership in Congress on energy efficiency, an issue that has been largely ignored by legislators for two decades."

Energy use in buildings is responsible for 35 percent of our air pollution emissions, says Goldstein. Energy use in buildings also costs consumers and businesses $250 billion a year.

Smith’s legislation would provide tax incentives for:

  • commercial buildings, including schools and rental housing, which provide 50 percent reductions in energy costs;
  • new homes that save 30 percent or 50 percent on consumer utility bills;
  • efficient air conditioners and heating and water heating systems that reduce peak electricity use and overall costs; and
  • solar water heating and photovoltaic systems.

These tax incentives would spur technological innovation, which would provide consumers, schools and businesses with new opportunities to cut their electric and fuel use, says Goldstein.

"Passage of Bob Smith’s bill would be a major environmental achievement for this Congress," says John Adams, founder and president of NRDC. "It combines pollution prevention, economic development and electric reliability. It’s a win-win-win for all Americans."

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 400,000 members nationwide, served by offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.