House of Representatives Expected to Pass
Washington, DC, -- The House of Representatives is expected to pass an energy bill today that includes several historic provisions that could speed the development and deployment of solar power across America.
The provisions include a tax credit for homeowners who purchase solar systems, new programs authorized at nearly $300 million a year to encourage installation of solar energy systems in public buildings at the federal, state, and local levels, and model interconnection and “net metering” language for states to consider that would make it easier for solar users to provide their excess solar power to their neighbors.
The Senate is expected to take up its energy bill next month.
“These historic provisions, if signed into law, will significantly improve the quality of our air while driving down the cost of solar systems,” said Glenn Hamer, Executive Director of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). v “Today we are seeing a bipartisan effort to speed the deployment of solar systems across America. This is welcome news for our environment and for our nation’s energy security.”
Specifically, the House energy bill includes:
A provision sponsored by Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ) to provide homeowners with a 15% tax credit for the purchase of residential solar electric and solar hot water systems, capped at $2,000 per system. Similar legislation is moving in the Senate and is part of the Bush Administration’s budget.
An amendment offered by Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) to authorize a five-year, $262 million per year program to deploy solar electric systems on federal buildings. The amendment passed by voice vote.
A provision sponsored by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) to authorize a four-year, $30 million per year program to cost-share deployment of solar and other renewable energy systems on state and local public buildings.
Model “net metering” and interconnection language that states would consider to make it simple for solar and other distributed clean energy technologies to connect to the utility grid to sell their excess generation to their local utilities.
Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) made this provision possible. “While we expect some changes to occur when the energy bill goes to Conference, we urge the Senate to join the House in supporting these historic provisions,” Hamer said.
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