Volume 36, Issue 11, November 2001

Energy&Environment

Primary Glass Manufacturers Council Urges Energy Conservation Credits
Homes using high-performance windows and other energy-saving products may earn tax credits if the U.S. Congress adopts an energy bill in 2001. According to the Primary Glass Manufacturers Council (PGMC) tax credits of 20 percent were included in the energy bill, H.R. 4, enacted by the House of Representatives in August. Pending Senate and Executive approval, the tax credit will be applied for a five-year period from January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2006. The maximum allowable tax credit for each home will be $2,000.The PGMC says action has now shifted to the Senate, “where prospects this year are uncertain as the effects of the September 11 terrorist attacks have forced changes in the Legislative agenda.” 

House Ways and Means chairman Bill Thomas was one lawmaker in favor of this energy bill. “Taxpayers who take steps to improve conservation and or use alternative sources of energy—such as investing in their home in energy-efficient ways or buying a more fuel-efficient car—will be rewarded for that behavior,” Thomas said.

The PGMC issued a statement saying it would continue to promote the tax credit to the Senate, but will also support the use of the Energy Star® program as an alternative for qualifying products and homes.

A PGMC task force, led by PPG Industries and Guardian Industries, has been working to promote the use of low-E glass.
PGMC also believes there is strong support in Congress for the completion of an energy bill. PGMC said that since September 11 “there is an enhanced appreciation of the importance of energy conservation as part of a comprehensive national energy strategy.” However, the task force says that if Congress does not complete and energy bill before it adjourns, it will urge that the work resume in 2002.

The PGMC’s efforts to get an energy bill passed is part of its campaign to promote and encourage the use of low-E glass through both federal policies developed by the Bush Administration and Congress. According to information from the PGMC, several early-stage bills may include mortgage preference incentives or tax deductions for homes using low-E glass, expanded application of federal initiatives such as the ENERGY STAR® program and promulgation of minimum standards for glass products in local building 
codes.

DOE Release Technology Roadmaps for the Building Envelope and Window Industries
The Department of Energy and the building envelope industry—which produces walls, floors and ceilings—have announced that they have released a 20-year plan to make homes more energy-efficient and more comfortable and healthy for their occupants. In this project, the two have produced The Building Envelope Technology Roadmap to guide cooperation among researchers, industry and state and federal governments to make more energy-efficient homes. The guide addresses industry trends such as increased competition, consumer demands for lower-cost and lower-maintenance houses, reduced environmental impact, technological developments and market barriers to new innovations.

“While the Energy Department has invested in technologies that make buildings more energy efficient for many years, this roadmap reflects a new way of doing business. It is an industry-led effort, created by our industry partners,” said Spencer Abraham, secretary of energy. “This roadmap will help business and government better align our research, development and deployment priorities and leverage our resources for greater impact.” 


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