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Pryor Legislation Encourages Investment in Energy-Efficient Cooling and Heating Equipment

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Pryor Legislation Encourages Investment in Energy-Efficient Cooling and Heating Equipment

Senator Mark Pryor today introduced the Smart Buildings Act of 2007 to encourage commercial building owners to replace old, energy-hungry cooling and heating equipment with today's more energy-efficient equipment.

Pryor said the Smart Buildings Act of 2007 will help our nation enhance energy efficiency in buildings, reduce carbon dioxide and chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions and provide growth in a U.S.-based manufacturing industry. Specifically, his legislation provides a financial incentive for residential and commercial building owners to upgrade their air conditioning and cooling equipment by shortening the current tax depreciation schedule from a 39-year schedule to 20 years. Pryor added that modern residential central air conditioners and heat pumps are 70 percent more energy efficient than they were 10 years ago.

"I believe many building owners would like to install more energy-efficient equipment, but it is cost-prohibitive. Oftentimes, they wait until their obsolete equipment breaks down before replacing their system," Pryor said. "My legislation provides an incentive to assist those who want to do right by our environment and save money on energy costs in the long-term."

Pryor said his legislation provides job security in addition to the underlying energy security benefits. He cited the nearly 150,000 employees who manufacture Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units in the United States, including 3,500 employees in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Fort Smith companies who manufacture HVAC units include Trane, Rheem, Carlyle, MesTek, Parker Hannifen and Airtherm.

"If we increase demand for more efficient units, we will be supporting an industry that has maintained a valuable presence in the U.S.," Pryor said. "These are good-paying jobs that are important to the local and national economies, and I want to keep these companies thriving."

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