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Roof Coating Makers Pitch Congress

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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Tax concerns and ozone targets topped the list of concerns that America's roof coatings manufacturers have laid at the door of Congress.

About two dozen members of the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) met July 24 in Washington with scores of members of Congress during RCMA's daylong 2013 RCMA Government Affairs Fly-In.

The day included an address by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and a series of one-on-one visits to representatives, senators and staffers, to highlight the legislative needs of the roof coatings industry.

Keynote Address

Gardner kicked off the day with a keynote address that touched on the status of pertinent bills and other congressional news.

Roof Coating Manufacturers Association
Roof Coating Manufacturers Association

Roof coating makers share their concerns with federal legislators in a daylong visit to Capitol Hill.

The speech "gave our members a fantastic overview of the current political landscape that they needed before meeting with their elected officials,” said RCMA executive director John Ferraro,

Gardner co-chairs the newly established bipartisan energy efficiency caucus, which focuses on energy efficiency legislation and on promoting performance contracting in U.S. government buildings. Rep. Peter  Welch (D-VT) co-chairs the panel.

“The goal of our caucus is going to be pushing for policies that reduce energy costs, cut pollution, and create jobs,” Gardner and Welch said in an earlier joint statement.

“There is nearly three billion square feet of building space that is owned and operated by the federal government, and by making government buildings more energy efficient, we can save taxpayer dollars and give a boost [to] the construction and energy sectors of our economy.”

Top Issues

After Gardner's talk, 20 RCMA members fanned out across Capitol Hill, meeting with 70 different congressional offices in all.

Peter Welch (D-VT) Cory Gardner
Official photos

Rep. Cory Gardner (right, R-CO) addressed the roof coating makers. Gardner and Rep. Peter Welch (left, D-VT) co-chair a bipartisan panel on energy efficiency legislation.

The group discussed the industry's current three legislative priorities:

Tax Wish List

The association is asking for a "clarification" in the homeowner energy efficiency tax credit (IRC Sec. 25C) so solar reflective roof coatings that meet EPA Energy Star requirements qualify for the credit.

"The tax code is currently being interpreted by the IRS to exclude roof coatings," the manufacturers' group says.

"Clarifying 25C will incentivize the installation of cool roofs, which improve building energy efficiency and reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect."

Reflective roof coating
The Garland Company

Manufacturers say solar-reflective roof coatings can help new buildings and retrofits meet significant energy efficiency targets.

The group is also seeking extension of the Commercial Building Tax Deduction (IRC Sec. 179D), which is set to expire Dec. 31. The association wants the credit made permanent "to provide a deduction for buildings that achieve 50 percent energy savings above ASHRAE 90.1-2001 and a prorated deduction for achieving 10 percent energy savings in three subsystems of the building."

The association contends that solar-reflective roof coatings "can help reach these energy-efficiency targets in new buildings and retrofits, which will help commercial buildings reduce their carbon footprints and save on energy bills."

Ozone Standard Opposition

The coating makers also oppose the EPA’s proposal to lower the National Ozone Standard from the current 0.075 to 0.06 ppm.

"Reductions to the standard in the past decade have resulted in hundreds of state and local regulations being implemented, which, in turn, have created a tremendous regulatory burden and forced industries to spend billions of dollars to reformulate their products to achieve new volatile organic compound (VOC) content limits," the association said.

"Lowering the National Ozone Standard once again will bring about new and more stringent regulations in an already heavily-regulated sector, ultimately resulting in the removal of products from shelves, increased costs to consumers, and threats to American companies and jobs."

'Very Receptive'

The roof coating makers said they were "extremely pleased" with their meetings and that leegislators and their staffs "were very receptive to our issues."

Said Ferraro: "We plan to continue the dialogue with these congressional offices over the next few months."


Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Cool roof coatings; Garland Company; Government; Government contracts; Laws and litigation; Roof coatings; Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA); Solar reflectance

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