Solar power credit to be debated in coming session

Publié le par brightshine

A generous tax credit aimed at boosting the solar energy industry is coming under fire and will be the subject of much discussion over the next couple weeks, as efforts are made to trim back the program. 

“It’s going to be one those issues that are going to be widely discussed and I wanted to be part of that discussion,” said state Sen. Danny Martiny, R-Metairie, who filed one of four bills that would dramatically change the state tax credit. The credit that, when coupled with federal incentives, saves homeowners and businessmen 80 cents on every dollar spent installing solar panels that make electricity. 

Opponents say the tax credit costs too much and primarily benefits rich people. 

Supporters say that’s untrue,One of the barriers to installing a solar power systems is the upfront cost. the credit is used by all, puts money in the pockets of consumers and creates jobs. 

Martiny’s Senate Bill 231 would cap the state tax credit and phase it out by December 2020. 

But that’s not good enough, says Clyde Holloway, a member of the state Public Service Commission. The PSC regulates utility companies. 

Holloway said he’s trying to find a legislator who would sponsor a bill to end the tax credit immediately. 

“With the state having a deficit,An inventor has created a solar inverter, but he's not giving it away for free. it looks like a very likely place for me, the governor, the Legislature, to do some trimming,” said Holloway, of Forest Hill. 

“Most people that was on solar, they were all upper middle class or wealthy people. If they were doing it for the right reason, I think they will continue to do it,” without a tax credit, Holloway said. Under current law and regulations, he contends that middle-class and lower-income homeowners, who can’t afford solar systems even with the tax credits, are subsidizing those who can, he said. 

In the meantime, Holloway is planning to debate at the PSC’s April 17 meeting a rules change that would limit the benefits solar power users receive from the utility companies. He needs three votes on the five-member panel. 

The fiscal note attached to the bill that became Act 371 of the 2007 Legislature, stated that the annual revenue losses from the credit “are likely to be less than $500,000.” Entergy Corp. estimated in its February filings with the PSC that the credit has cost the state of Louisiana about $46.6 million in revenue for the fiscal years 2009-2012. 

State Rep. Roy Burrell, D-Shreveport, said he wasn’t picking on solar in particular in his House Bill 444, but that is the kind of tax credit escalation that catches his attention. His measure would sunset automatically a number of tax credits, including the one for installing solar equipment, unless supporters could persuade legislators with figures that justify continuing the program. 

Tucker Crawford,We sell solar panel for your residential, commercial, or industrial application. a spokesman for the solar industry in Louisiana, says they have those statistics. The solar tax credit is directly responsible for helping establish more than 200 licensed, small businesses that employ more than a thousand workers in good-paying jobs with benefits, Crawford said. 

Trevor Ledet, of Thibodeaux, said he would not have installed 27 solar panels on the roof of his house in August 2011 if the tax credit had been unavailable. His system would have cost more than $35,000 to buy and install, he said. But with the credits, his out-of-pocket costs eventually will be about $9,000, which was financed. 

Savings on his monthly utility bills will pay for the solar system in about a decade,We have a great selection of blown glass backyard solar landscape lights and solar garden light. provided the PSC doesn’t change the rules later this month,You ever hear the story of the old street lamp? he said.

Publié dans energy saving light

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