Tax Reforms Could Save Energy, Create Jobs, and Pay for Themselves

February 6, 2013

Media Contact(s):

Wendy Koch, 202-507-4753, Senior Director, Marketing & Communications

Washington, D.C.—Tax reform will provide Congress with many opportunities to promote energy efficiency and remove barriers through the tax code, according to Tax Reforms to Advance Energy Efficiency, a new report issued today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The report looks at several major changes to the tax code.

“Tax reform will be a major topic of discussion in Congress in upcoming months, and energy efficiency should be part of the conversation,” said Steven Nadel, ACEEE’s executive director and the report’s lead author. “Since energy efficiency leads to job growth, increased productivity, and a cleaner environment, it’s only common sense that Congress should consider these changes as they rewrite the tax code.”

The report looks at tax reforms that could be made in six major areas including promoting capital investment in manufacturing, encouraging advanced energy-saving technologies, and rationalizing depreciation schedules. The authors find that changes in these three areas would pay for themselves as the increased energy savings increase profits and tax receipts. They also find that the provisions to encourage advanced energy-saving technologies would increase employment by an average of 164,000 jobs over the 2014-2030 period. 

Other topics discussed in the report are reduction of subsidies for fossil fuels, emissions fees, and radical change to the business tax code in order to reduce marginal tax rates and remove some disincentives to energy efficiency.

“Our report explores new perspectives that haven’t been considered much before,” said Kate Farley, ACEEE researcher and co-author of the report. “This report is an important starting point for making some major, beneficial changes that will benefit all Americans. By using the tax code to remove barriers to energy efficiency, Congress can help modernize the manufacturing sector, promote new, advanced energy-saving technologies, and help us all keep more money in our pocketbooks.”

This report evolved from a series of several working papers that were published by ACEEE over the course of 2012. The authors invited stakeholders and tax policy experts to comment on the working papers, and this final report reflects many of the comments and critiques that the authors received.

To read the report visit: /research-report/e132

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy acts as a catalyst to advance energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.