Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced that his amendment to the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform & Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act, also known as the tax extenders bill, that will extend the tax deduction for energy efficient commercial and multifamily buildings was adopted by the Senate Finance Committee. The deduction was created in 2005 as an incentive to spur energy savings in public and commercial buildings and is currently the only federal tax incentive available that encourages energy savings in public and private commercial buildings. Portman also called for an end to temporary, short-term tax policy and expressed his support for tax reform that creates a simple, fair, and efficient tax code.

“This commonsense amendment is a step in the right direction toward helping our public and privately-owned buildings become more energy and economically efficient,” Portman stated. “While I’m pleased my amendment to continue the deduction was accepted, our current tax code is outdated and complicated, and short-term tax policy is not good for businesses or families. I hope that after this legislation passes, we can take the opportunity to work on real, permanent tax reform that creates a simple, fair, and efficient tax code.”

“Extending the 179D tax deduction will help multifamily builders ease the high initial costs of energy efficient features,” said National Association of Home Builders Chairman, Kevin Kelly. “This incentive has been particularly successful because it doesn’t favor certain products or technologies, but instead allows builders and homeowners to identify the best solutions for their needs, while also encouraging energy efficient choices. This tax incentive will undoubtedly create many jobs in Ohio, both in the design/construction industry, but also trickling down to manufacturers of energy efficient products and building materials. Thanks to Senator Portman for fighting for good, common sense tax policy.”

“Designing maximum energy savings into every structure is the hallmark of the value proposition architects offer clients,” said American Institute of Architects CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “Extending the 179D tax deduction will help architects and designers continue to be major catalysts behind the revolution occurring in sustainable and resilient buildings, as well as encourage energy conservation through-out the built environment. We thank Senator Portman for his efforts in restoring this valuable tool for saving energy.”

“Owens Corning applauds Senators Portman and Cardin for their bipartisan leadership in extending the Commercial Building tax deduction for improving energy efficiency,” said Owens Corning VP of Building Materials and Engineered Insulation Systems, Joe Ochoa. “These initiatives provide both energy security and economic growth.  Energy consumption in buildings account for over 40% of our nation's energy use, with commercial building representing half of that total consumption. This tax deduction will continue to serve as a meaningful energy efficiency incentive for commercial and larger multifamily structures. In addition, energy efficiency is a direct contributor to economic prosperity and job security since the building materials installed are generally produced here in the United States, and the skilled contractors required for effective installation are from the communities where the construction activity occurs.” 

Portman is the author of the bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness (ESIC) Act. The legislation offers a deficit-neutral framework designed to promote the transition to a more energy efficient economy while driving economic growth and encouraging private sector job creation.  This bipartisan bill uses a variety of low-cost tools to reduce barriers for private sector energy users and will drive adoption of off-the-shelf efficiency technologies among the largest energy consumers.