New Laws Promote Energy Conservation & Appliance Efficiency

November 22, 2005

Governor Mitt Romney signed legislation in late November that provides incentives to consumers and businesses to use energy efficiently and establishes new efficiency standards for household products such as furnaces and boilers. The legislation provides homeowners who purchase energy-efficient heating products a one-time tax credit equal to 30 percent of the cost of products up to $600 for a single family home and $1000 for a multi-family home. Examples of eligible products include new windows, advanced programmable thermostats, insulation, weather stripping, and fuel-efficient furnaces, boilers, and hot water systems. The law also establishes a one-year, zero or low-interest loan program to help residents improve the efficiency of their homes. The state will subsidize the interest on private loans in order to allow consumers to purchase and install energy efficient items in their homes. The state will also provide a one-time corporate excise tax credit to businesses that purchase solar water heating systems equal to 15 percent of the cost to purchase and install the systems, or $300, whichever is less. Romney also signed companion legislation that establishes new minimum efficiency standards for products such as residential furnaces and boilers, AC/DC transformers, metal halide lamps, and state regulated incandescent reflector lamps. See the governor's press release on the legislation.