NECA Supports Investment and Efficiency Incentives in Energy Policy Act


The new Energy Policy Act, signed by President Bush on Monday, August 8, has gained the support of the National Electrical Contractors Assn. for several reasons.

For the electrical industry, say NECA officials, passage of the energy bill means a renewed commitment to innovation and revitalization of the nation's aging and overburdened electrical infrastructure. Throughout the debate on energy policy, NECA has worked with legislators to demonstrate how the national power grid is buckling under ever-increasing demand. The energy bill, they say, addresses this issue in three ways: by encouraging exploration of alternative and efficient energy sources, by mandating and encouraging energy-efficiency modernization and upgrades in federal and private buildings and by investing in much-needed maintenance and upgrades of power transmission and distribution facilities.

NECA also sees the signing of this bill as a boon to its members. The Energy Policy Act contains federal mandates and incentives that will mean tens of billions of dollars for energy-efficiency electrical work in buildings and for power line expansion and modernization. Specifically, the bill includes $14.5 billion in new tax credits and deductions, a significant portion of which will work its way back to inside electrical contractors and line constructors.

NECA hopes that such tax breaks will encourage utilities and independent power producers to invest in expanding transmission and distribution infrastructure, help revive the nuclear power industry and persuade commercial, institutional and governmental organizations to acquire energy-management retrofits for their facilities. The measure also provides favorable incentives for the production and use of alternative and renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, geothermal and bio-thermal mass, fuel cells and LED (light-emitting diode) technology.

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