Utah Moms for Clean Air and HB 199

Courtesy of Utah Moms for Clean Air:

Our big focus right now is the Utah legislative session in progress, and we’re writing to ask you to contact your legislators regarding important clean air legislation.

Home energy use is a major source of air pollution in Utah. Inefficient homes burn more natural gas, more coal, and more wood to heat, cool, and power electric appliances—all of this burning fuel creates air pollution. House Bill (H.B.) 199 Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Residences, sponsored by Fred Hunsaker of Logan will address this problem, but it has been stuck in rules since February 14. The end of the session is approaching and we need to get this bill out of House Rules and to a friendly committee so it can be passed to the floor for a Yes vote.

There are two ways you can help get this bill passed and improve air quality in Utah.

  1. Write the members of House Rules
  2. Contact the members of House Rules and ask them to send the bill to a friendly committee.

    House Rules Committee
    Stephen H. Urquhart, Chair surquhart@utah.gov
    Gregory H. Hughes, Vice Chair greghughes@utah.gov
    Jackie Biskupski jbiskupski@utah.gov
    James A. Dunnigan jdunnigan@utah.gov
    Kevin S. Garn kgarn@utah.gov
    Mark W. Walker mwalker@utah.gov
    Michael T. Morley rley@utah.gov
    Neal B. Hendrickson nhendrickson@utah.gov

  3. Write your Legislators
  4. Call or email your Representative and Senator to voice your support of House Bill 199 – Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Residences. You can find contact information for you legislators here. You can read the full text of the bill and learn more about its progress here.

    Legislators have told us that hearing from constituents makes a difference in how they vote. They recognize that each individual email and phone call they get represents many others. So, please, make your voice heard!

Background for HB 199

This bill is great for Utahns and Utah’s air quality. Energy efficiency is the easiest, cheapest, most readily available energy resource; and the state should encourage energy efficiency with appropriate incentives.

Only one half of the buildings we will be using in 2030 have not been built yet, so there is great opportunity to create more energy efficient homes for the future. New energy efficient homes save energy over their entire life (which for some homes can by 100+ years). This bill provides corporate and individual nonrefundable tax credits for highly efficient (above code) new home construction, which is critical as Utah’s new homes market continues to grow.

For existing homes, this bill provides tax credits for energy efficiency retrofits such as premium evaporative cooling systems, high efficiency furnaces, water heaters and boilers, insulation, windows, and duct and air sealing which will save energy and prevent pollution starting now.

Rules for qualifying for the tax credits will be made by Utah Geological Survey, and the Utah Tax Review Commission will study the tax credits.

Benefits to Utah’s Homebuilders

  • Highly efficient new homes would receive a tax credit ranging from around $1,300 to $2,000 per home.
  • Highly efficient homes are part of a growing niche market of high performance and “zero energy” homes that will give Utah ‘s home builders a competitive advantage.
  • Today’s slowed housing market is a perfect opportunity to help the industry “re-tool” to provide high efficiency homes for Utah citizens, which will help homeowners reduce rising energy bills.
  • Energy efficient home retrofit projects would be eligible for tax credits up to $1,000.

Benefits to Utah’s Homeowners

  • Energy efficient homes are more comfortable, have lower operating costs, and higher re-sale values.
  • Compared to a Utah home built to current code, highly efficient homes (30-50% above code) can save between $650 and $1350 per year in energy costs.
  • Lower mortgage rates (Energy Efficient Mortgages) are available from many leading home lending institutions for energy efficient homes.

Thank you for all you do!

Cherise, Dana, Cameron, Travis, Michelle, Pat, Deborah, Lori, and Jennifer
The Founders of Utah Moms for Clean Air

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