Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Senate Shines Light on Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008

After eight attempts, the Senate finally passed H.R. 6049, the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 with a resounding bipartisan vote of 93 to 2. It now returns to the House, which is expected to act quickly reconcile the Senate provisions and send the bill on to the President for signature. Obviously, there are enough votes for an override of a potential Presidential veto.

Among other things, this bill:

  • Extends solar tax credits for eight years for commercial and residential customers, eliminates the $2000 cap for residential installations and allows utilities to use the commercial credit. Extends the Production Tax Credit for wind for one year and the PTC for solar, biomass and wave and ocean projects for two years.
  • Businesses would get a 30 percent tax credit for investing in wind, solar, geothermal and ocean alternative energy equipment for eight more years.
  • Provides a tax break for buyers of plug-in hybrids of up to $7500.
  • Homeowners can get a tax credit of up to 10 percent of the cost of home energy improvements, such as new windows, insulation, energy efficient heating and cooling equipment and water heaters.
  • Residential energy-efficient property credit would be extended through 2016 and the definition of qualifying systems is extended to include wind and geothermal heat pumps, which would get 30% off, with a cap of $6,667.

For full text of the bill go here. For news and commentary: Bloomberg or Solar Energy Industries Association or Associated Press or CleanTech.

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