VOTE…as if the earth matters

Author: Lou Vogel, PE, LEED AP, CCP, President

While media outlets are focusing on the Presidential campaigns, you should also be aware of upcoming legislative action that will impact your friends, neighbors and community. The federal Solar Investment Tax Credits (ITC) are set to expire at the end of 2016. This key financial support credit will be reduced to 10% from 30% of the installed commercial system cost. The residential credit will be eliminated altogether (from 30%). We expect this would drastically reduce how many solar systems people will install in the coming years, just when Solar PV is beginning to have an impact on our fossil fuel energy use.

The ITC represents an investment in our future, and has already seen hundreds of thousands of Americans choose renewable energy for their homes and businesses. Since Congress adopted the ITC in 2006, solar installation costs have dropped by 73%. Extending the tax credits beyond 2016 will help drive costs even lower, and see our energy mix continue its shift away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy and to renewable energy sources.

Thirty years ago, I was designing and selling solar systems for a company in Indiana. We had a thriving business until the federal government took away the solar tax credit. Shortly after that, our company and many others across the country went out of business, stalling the momentum that had been building. Just think of how much farther ahead we would be today, if all those companies had been able to continue reducing our fossil fuel usage. Let’s not repeat that scenario! Please contact your congressperson and urge them to extend BOTH the commercial and residential Investment Tax Credits.