Marcellino/Galef Introduce Bills That Would Provide Tax Exemptions for Purchasing Energy Star Appliances/Light Bulbs

June 5, 2008

Senator Carl Marcellino and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef have introduced legislation that would provide sales tax exemptions for certain Energy Star appliances (S.6944A/A.11285) and fluorescent light bulbs (S.6945A/A.11286). Energy Star is the joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy setting strict energy efficiency guidelines.

“This bill not only provides necessary economic relief for our already over burdened New York taxpayers, but it also serves as a reward for conserving energy and protecting our environment,” Senator Marcellino (R, Syosset) said. “It’s important to do everything in our power to preserve and protect our natural resources, while also lightening the load on New Yorkers’ wallets.”

“This will provide an incentive for the citizens of New York to purchase appliances and light bulbs for their house that are more energy efficient and therefore saving them money and helping the environment,” Galef said. “I believe that the sales tax exemptions will encourage more people to go out and buy these appliances and light bulbs that will save money and energy.”

"The tax exemptions created by these important bills will allow New York consumers to purchase energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs that will save money and protect our environment, said Richard Schrader, the New York Legislative Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). "Using these products will move New York a long way towards sound energy conservation practices that diminishes our dependence on foreign oil and addresses the enduring problem of climate change both regionally and globally."

Bill A.11285/S.6944A would offer tax exemptions from sales tax for Energy Star appliances. These qualified appliances would be clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, room air conditioners, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, freezers, programmable thermostats, and ventilating fans. While there is no current tax exemption for the purchase of Energy Star qualified appliances, if just one in ten homes used Energy Star qualified appliances, the change would be like planting 1.7 million new acres of trees.

Sales tax exemptions for light bulbs, S.6945A/A.11286, would exempt Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs. Energy Star qualified bulbs use about 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent light bulbs and last up to ten times longer. This can save about thirty dollars or more in electricity costs.

Galef concluded, “During this time of economic and financial hardships for many New Yorkers, this legislation would save people both money from the sales tax exemption, as well as encourage conservation of our energy resources and protection of our environment.”