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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024
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Commentary Legislation offers incentives to conserve energy

While blackouts have not become the daily occurrence in California that experts predicted, the energy crisis still weighs heavy on our minds.

Californians are conscious of this fact and have taken proactive steps to conserve energy. These efforts, while sacrifices, have been markedly successful in the Golden State, with California boasting the highest incidence of conservation in the country. In order to motivate homeowners and small businesses to continue their conservation efforts, we have sponsored legislation to provide financial incentives to those who install “Energy Load Reduction Systems.”

Assembly Bill 81XX would provide tax deductions for 25 percent of the cost of purchase and installation of products such as solar control window film, window shading, attic, wall, and floor insulation, new roofs, or duct efficiency improvements. This tax deduction could potentially yield savings up to $750 for residences and $1500 for small businesses.

This legislation would ease some of the financial burden placed on consumers who install energy conservation products.

Our energy crisis has placed many Californians in a precarious position. If families are not suffering from the heat, then they are suffering from exorbitant energy costs in their monthly bills.

The products can help offset these rising costs. Each energy load reduction product radically reduces the amount of heat that enters a building.

For instance, window film limits the amount of heat that enters a home or commercial building by as much as 80 percent and it reflects at least 95 percent of ultraviolet radiation. This dramatically decreases the demand for air conditioning, thereby lowering energy bills significantly.

These energy demand reducers are not only effective, but the results are immediate. In addition, many of these products are easy to install. It is only fair that we promote incentives for products that are simple to use and that provide Californians with a viable alternative to outrageous energy bills.

In addition to the savings from tax deductions, consumers would also be eligible for the various rebates and incentives offered by the power companies.

For example, Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison are all offering rebates through the 20/20 Energy Rebate program.

Customers who reduce their energy consumption by 20 percent for any of the monthly billing periods of August, September or October , compared to the same billing period from the previous year , are eligible for a 20 percent credit on their bill.

Many smaller municipal utility companies have also recognized the benefit of energy load reduction systems, and are offering rebates as well.

As temperatures rise to their normal monthly averages, we must continue to explore innovative options to reduce electricity demand at peak energy use times. Energy load reduction systems offer a viable answer to our state’s energy predicament.

That’s why we need to provide incentives to the public now more than ever. AB-81XX encourages consumers to take advantage of energy load reduction systems that serve to reduce the state’s demand for energy, and lower the prospects of rolling blackouts. Ultimately, it will save consumers a considerable amount of money. With our proposed legislation, we can continue to not only motivate consumers to conserve energy, but also reward them for their efforts.

Morrow represents the state Senate’s 38th District, which includes southern coastal Orange County and coastal North County.

Oropeza represents the Assembly’s 55th District, which includes Carson, portions of Long Beach and Compton, the Los Angeles communities of Wilmington, Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, Rancho Dominguez and the unincorporated areas of Gardena and Torrance.

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