South Carolina’s Tax Breaks for Energy-Efficient Manufactured Homes Honored
September 17, 2010
South Carolina’s new tax credits to encourage the purchase of energy-efficient manufactured homes have been honored for being among the nation’s best energy conservation initiatives.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recognized South Carolina’s incentives for ENERGY STAR® labeled manufactured homes in its “States Stepping Forward” awards program. The tax credits are managed by the S.C. Budget and Control Board’s South Carolina Energy Office in conjunction with the S.C. Department of Revenue.
“Everything has two costs—the cost to purchase and the cost to operate,” said Ashlie Lancaster of the S.C. Energy Office. “The tax incentives for ENERGY STAR® manufactured homes help balance the slightly higher purchase cost and ensure through energy savings that the cost to operate a home will be much lower for every year the buyer lives in it. This is especially important in South Carolina considering the large number of manufactured homes occupied by low-income households.”
In 2008, the S.C. General Assembly enacted legislation to enhance incentives for ENERGY STAR® homes, which are manufactured for maximum energy efficiency. The incentives include waiving the $300 sales tax and providing a $750 nonrefundable state income tax credit. The tax credits are issued by the Department of Revenue, which asks the S.C. Energy Office to approve applications to ensure they met ENERGY STAR® criteria.
ENERGY STAR® homes feature tight construction, high-quality windows and doors, and appliances designed to save energy. Special site installation requirements ensure that those factors outside the control of the manufacturer are handled correctly.
Improving energy efficiency for manufactured homes is an important issue in the Palmetto State. Twenty percent of South Carolinians live in manufactured housing, the highest percentage in the nation. Manufactured homes built before 1980 consume an average of 53 percent more energy per square foot compared with other types of homes. Fifty-five percent of these living in manufactured homes have incomes below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
ACEEE accepted nominations from programs administered by state institutions and an expert panel then examined the field of nominations. South Carolina’s program was one of 10 to receive an honorable mention and another five were selected as winners. All honorees reach broadly across the economy including residential, commercial, institutional, industrial, agricultural, and transportation sectors.
More information about the awards can be found at: http://www.aceee.org/press/2010/09/18-state-led-energy-efficiency-programs-recognized-best
About the South Carolina Energy Office
The South Carolina Energy Office (SCEO) provides a broad range of resources designed to help citizens, businesses and public entities save energy and money. In recent years, the SCEO has helped save South Carolina over $250 million through public and private energy-saving measures and new energy technologies. The SCEO is a unit of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board.
The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting economic prosperity, energy security, and environmental protection. For information about ACEEE and its programs, publications, and conferences, visit http://www.aceee.org