MHI held a series of Congressional visits on Capitol Hill to discuss three important Energy issues which affect the manufactured housing industry. Meetings were held with staff members from the following Senate offices: Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM-D), Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK-R) and Senator John Kerry (MA-D).
The discussion involved the following Energy issues:
1) The ENERGY STAR tax credit is set to expire in December 2009. Currently, manufacturers who build ENERGY STAR homes are eligible to receive a $1,000 tax credit. The “Expanding Building Efficiency Incentives Act of 2009, S. 1637” is intended to extend Section 45 L including manufactured housing beyond 2009. The bill provides for a tax credit of $1,500 for qualifying ENERGY STAR manufactured homes, an increase from the current $1,000 tax credit. The credit increases to $2,500 when the new manufactured housing Energy Star requirements go into effect in 2011.
2) The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has initiated the drafting of proposed amendments to the energy requirements of the HUD-Code as directed by the EISA 2007. MHI discussed with Senate staff the possibility of modifying language in Section 413 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The modified language would better direct Department of Energy’s efforts in developing new energy standards for manufactured homes.
3) The Senate is expected to release an Energy omnibus bill and MHI is advocating the inclusion of S. 1320 within the energy package. A provision of this bill is intended to encourage owners of pre-1976 manufactured homes to replace those homes with new energy efficient manufactured homes that meet Energy Star standards. This legislation would offer $7500 rebates which may be provided to facilitate the purchase of a new Energy Star qualified home.
MHI extends a special thanks to Emanuel Levy, Executive Director of the Systems Building Research Alliance for his participation in these meetings. If you are a MHI member and have any questions, contact Rae Ann Bevington at Rbevington@mfghome.org.