SMACNA is endorsing H.R. 3349, the Mechanical Insulation Installation Incentive Act of 2017. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Representative Sanchez (D-CA) and Reps Reed (R-NY), Meehan (R-PA) and Ryan (D-OH) with a dozen cosponsors, recognizes the role of mechanical insulation in producing energy efficiency in high-performing commercial and industrial buildings. Energy efficiency is a critical component in any strategy to increase building productivity, reduce energy waste and related greenhouse gas emissions. Ensuring all mechanical systems are specified, installed, operated and maintained at the most effective level of performance is essential to realizing the full energy efficiency potential of buildings and operations.
Our nation’s buildings account for 40 percent of our primary energy use—more than either transportation or industry. They are responsible for more than 70 percent of the electricity consumption and more than 40 percent of the total U.S. CO2 emissions. The Energy Information Administration reported that the commercial and industrial sectors consume 2 1/2 times more energy than the residential sector and therefore represent tremendous opportunities for efficiency gains. Unfortunately, the current federal energy efficiency provisions in the tax code do not appropriately incentivize mechanical insulation maintenance, retrofits, or installation beyond current minimum code requirements. While a number of valued tax incentives favor visible and highly publicized energy improvements, H.R. 3349 would result in major energy and cost savings uniquely found through fully utilizing mechanical insulation. By creating a tax incentive for the installation of mechanical insulation for commercial buildings and industrial and manufacturing facilities, including power plants, refineries, hospitals, schools, and universities, H.R. 3349 would help spur adoption of this technology. Further, enacting tax incentives for mechanical insulation installation would help building owners realize vast energy savings in the commercial and industrial sectors while boosting skilled employment and energy efficiency.
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