Energy Conservation and Climate Change: Factors to Consider in the Design of the Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Under criteria for evaluating a tax credit design, both the performance-based and cost-based credits have advantages and disadvantages with neither design being unambiguously the better option based on current information. Both a cost-based and a performance-based credit are designed to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions by providing incentives for energy conservation investment. However, they differ in their relative effectiveness and costs. In general, a performance-based credit is more likely to effectively reduce energy use and CO2 emissions because it rewards energy savings from the investment ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. April 2, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Under criteria for evaluating a tax credit design, both the performance-based and cost-based credits have advantages and disadvantages with neither design being unambiguously the better option based on current information. Both a cost-based and a performance-based credit are designed to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions by providing incentives for energy conservation investment. However, they differ in their relative effectiveness and costs. In general, a performance-based credit is more likely to effectively reduce energy use and CO2 emissions because it rewards energy savings from the investment rather than the cost-based credit’s rewarding of spending regardless of whether this spending results in energy savings. However, the performance-based credit may have significant up-front costs for energy audits, not required by the cost-based credit, which could reduce its effectiveness by discouraging investment. In addition, for taxpayers who do invest, these up-front costs may mean that a performance-based credit may have significantly higher taxpayer compliance and IRS administrative costs than a cost-based credit. A credit’s fairness depends on subjective judgments of how a credit varies with a taxpayer’s income level."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • April 2, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Energy Conservation and Climate Change: Factors to Consider in the Design of the Nonbusiness Energy Property Credit, report, April 2, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301191/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.