EERE Network News
August 10, 2005
News and Events
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 was signed on August 8th, creating new tax credits for home energy efficiency improvements and for the purchase of hybrid, advanced diesel, alternative fuel, and fuel cell vehicles. Efficient homes, commercial buildings, and appliances will also earn credits.
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provides tax credits for solar power systems and solar hot water systems, the first such credits in 20 years. The act also provides credits for fuel cells and microturbines, and requires public utilities to provide interconnection and net metering for home power generators.
Power from renewable energy sources got a boost from the new energy act, which extends the production tax credit for renewable power through 2007. The act also sets a new requirement for federal purchasing of renewable energy and revises geothermal leasing and hydropower licensing rules.
A "Renewable Fuels Standard" in the new energy act requires that U.S. gasoline blends include 7.5 billion gallons of biofuel—mainly ethanol—by 2012. The act also creates tax credits for alternative-fuel fueling stations and tax incentives for biodiesel blends.
The federal government will become more energy efficient, will buy more efficient products, and will use sustainable designs in new buildings, thanks to the new energy act. The act also extends the Energy Savings Performance Contracts program, which helps pay for efficiency improvements.
The new energy act extends Daylight Saving Time by about three weeks, although Congress may change it back if it fails to save energy. The act also sets minimum energy efficiency standards for a number of products that were not previously addressed by federal law.
Crude oil prices hovered just below $60 per barrel in July, a trend that DOE's Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects to continue through September. The high oil prices will keep gasoline prices high, and near-term price increases are also expected for natural gas and heating oil.