House of Representatives approved Securing America’s Future Energy Act of 2001 (SAFE Act of 2001) yesterday with the house divided along party lines. SAFE act of 2001 was presented “To enhance energy conservation, research and development and to provide for security and diversity in the energy supply for the American people, and for other purposes.” Democrats tried in vain to scale back some of the tax breaks provided in other bills by the republicans to offset the cost, $33.5 billion dollars over ten year period, of this bill. They moaned about the surplus going up in smoke thanks to the republicans and the republicans pointed at them for that being their fault. Fiscally sound or not over the next ten years, Americans should be prepared for some new tax breaks coming their way.
Most of them would affect them at home and the way they get around in their cars. The use of energy by the American people is the issue at the forefront of this bill, even if it does contain other controversial issues such as allowing of the oil drilling in Alaskan wildlife refuge. The reliance of the American public on fuel coming in from foreign lands and the reliability of the continued fuel sustenance from those lands has made the conservatives push this bill ardently in hope of getting it enacted. These laws are in effect December 31st 2001. Some of these breaks are:
Personal tax credit for the purchase of qualified photovoltaic property and qualified solar water heating property Up to 15 percent or maximum $2,000 for buying equipment to keep your home heated and further up to 15 percent or maximum $2,000 for buying equipment to use solar energy to keep your home lighted and functioning instead of using electricity. Equipment used to heat swimming pools and hot tubs doesn’t apply for the personal tax credit. Labor costs to put the equipment into use for any residence located within the United States are expenses that can be offset by the tax credit.
10 percent credit for the purchase of qualified stationary fuel cell power plants Any equipment that is used to power your primary residence to generate electricity.
Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit This is a credit for the purchase of a new qualified fuel cell motor vehicle, a new qualified hybrid motor vehicle, a new qualified alternative fuel motor vehicle, and a new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicle.
A fuel cell motor vehicle has a tax credit range of $4,000 to $40,000 depending on the fuel efficiency and over all weight of that model.
A hybrid motor vehicle has a tax credit range of $250 to $10,000 depending on the fuel efficiency, emissions performance and over all weight of that model.
An alternative fuel motor vehicle could have up to 50 percent of its cost credited back to the owner plus additional 30 percent of the cost if it meets certain emissions standards with the tax credit range of $5,000 to $40,000 depending on the over all weight of that model.
A new advanced lean burn technology motor vehicle has a tax credit range of $1,000 to $4,000 depending on the fuel efficiency of that model.
The deduction of costs for qualified clean fuel vehicle property and clean fuel vehicle refueling property has been extended to December 31st 2007. The tax credit for electric vehicles is no longer limited to $4,000. The tax credit range is for $4,000 to $40,000 depending on the weight of the car and in case of certain models, the driving range.
Qualified energy efficiency improvements Up to $2,000 to make energy efficient improvements to your primary residence. It should be new and at least run for five years. It should comply with the 1998 International Energy Conservation Code. These improvements are mainly to do with reducing the loss of heat and gaining heat by properly insulating the home with extra windows, metal roofs, and doors.