Solar Policy Updates from the Hill
Jun 27, 2014
by EmPower Solar
Our staff is usually head-down in the office or harnessed up in the field, but occasionally we wander away from our day to day tasks and out of the state for a greater good. Last week, EmPower Solar’s Marketing Manager and resident activist Tara Bono headed to Washington D.C. with SEIA to advocate for more clean and renewable energy from our federal policy makers.
Partnering with other solar companies up and down the east coast, Tara dashed from building to building during the jam-packed day of action. The goal was to garner Congressional support for an amendment to the federal ITC that is set to expire in 2016. Currently, law requires that all solar projects be completed by year’s end to qualify for the 30% federal tax credit. The “commence construction” amendment would allow for projects that have been started but not commissioned to also qualify.
Throughout the day we met with several Congressional offices, but our meeting with Congresswoman McCarthy’s office proved most successful (we’re not just saying that because she’s our representative!). Just moments after we ended the meeting, we got word that the Congresswoman supports solar, and would be signing on to be a co-sponsor of the legislation.
It was great to be able to bring local stories of solar projects and company expansion to Congress, as well as cite some national stats that SEIA is seeing across the country. Did you know that there are now more people employed by the solar industry than the coal industry in the U.S.? Or that last year, solar accounted for 21 percent of all new power capacity additions in the US?
Great work has been done on the state and local level over the past few months as well, and EmPower Solar is happy to support the efforts of environmental organizations and industry advocacy groups that pursue our mission of a new energy paradigm powered by clean and renewable energy. Our message was carried to lawmakers in Albany by advocacy groups including Vote Solar, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and NYSEIA. Follow these important organizations to find out what kinds of policies and programs are moving forward at the federal, state, and local levels.