Press Release

September 20, 2011

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) today traveled to Frederick, MD to unveil legislation that will help the struggling construction industry, create up to 40,000 new jobs nationwide, and increase energy efficiency. The bipartisan bill will create economic growth by removing obstacles in the tax code that hinder the upgrading and modernization of roofs by significantly reducing the depreciation schedule for commercial roof retrofits. 

“I am introducing this bill today because our priority in Congress must be to do all we can to create new jobs.  The legislation I am introducing will help the construction industry by accelerating demand to upgrade and modernize roofs, helping to create up to 40,000 new construction jobs nationwide,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Finance and Budget committees. “This bill is what I call ‘a win-win’ – it will create new jobs and improve the energy efficiency of commercial properties.”

In July, a report by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation found that 14.1 percent of the 2010 unemployment insurance claims were from the construction industry, making the construction industry the largest source of unemployment insurance claims in the state.  Nationwide, the construction industry lost 2.2 million jobs because of the economic downturn.

The Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act will provide economic incentives that will accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient roofs.  Generally roofs are depreciated over 39 years.  This bill will allow commercial roofs that meet certain energy-efficiency standards and that are placed into service over the next two years to be depreciated over 20 years.  The average lifespan of a typical commercial roof is only 17 years, so this legislation corrects an inequity in the tax code by aligning the depreciation period closer to the life span of a commercial roof.  

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) has co-sponsored the legislation, which has the support of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA), Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA), U.S .Green Building Council (USGBC), United Union of Roofers, among a number of other construction industry associations.