Senators Heinrich, Schatz Introduce Bill To Make Transition To Clean Energy Easier For Families

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, joined U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to introduce S.1755, a bill to extend the Residential Energy Efficient Property Tax Credit (25D) by five years. The legislation would extend a successful tax credit that helps families pay for residential clean energy equipment, such as solar photovoltaics, solar hot water heaters, geothermal heat pumps, and small wind turbines. U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Al Franken (D-Minn.) also joined Senator Schatz in introducing the bill.

“This legislation puts solar energy within reach for more Americans,” said Senator Heinrich.  “Families with solar panels on their rooftops already know firsthand how solar can reduce energy costs at home.  With more than 300 days of sun in New Mexico, this tremendous resource should continue to be harnessed as an economic engine for our state.  Extending the solar tax credit for families is a great way to achieve that.”

“Every year, more and more families in Hawai‘i and across the country are cutting their utility bills by taking control of their energy futures and making the transition to clean energy,” said Sen. Schatz.  “Since 2006, this tax credit has made it more affordable for families to make home energy upgrades while also helping create American jobs in construction and manufacturing.  As we continue to move toward a clean energy economy, we need to continue finding commonsense solutions like clean energy tax credits that are both good for American families and our energy security.”

More than 97 percent of all installed solar capacity in the U.S. has come online since the Section 25D and 48 tax credits were extended in 2006. This added solar capacity corresponds to $66 billion in investments and the creation of 150,000 jobs. In 2014, 32 percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. came from solar energy.

“Solar continues to be the most popular and fastest-growing energy sector in America.  This bill will allow even more homeowners to install energy-efficient, cost-saving solar systems in the future,” said Solar Energy Industries Association President & CEO Rhone Resch.  “This legislation will also help to create thousands of new American jobs, provide a big boost to our economy and help to protect our environment by reducing harmful carbon emissions.  Simply put, the ITC is a proven economic catalyst.  Since it was enacted, the number of homes across the U.S. with installed solar systems has soared from 15,500 to more than 600,000, benefitting both our economy and environment.”

“The home energy tax credit has helped to develop a strong demand for residential solar power; solar installations have tripled in the past two years,” said Angie Fyfe, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives USA’s Director of Resource Efficiency & Renewable Energy Programs. “ICLEI USA supports the extension of the home energy credit as an important tool to sustain this momentum toward a clean energy economy.”