What is happening
Congress can make solar energy less expensive and more accessible right now (with the upcoming budget reconciliation bill). They can do this by taking three critical steps by the end of this year:
- Extending solar tax credits for 10 years.
- Allowing solar owners to be paid directly instead of having a tax credit.
- Improving the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).
Extend the Investment Tax Credit
The federal government provides a tax credit to homeowners who buy solar systems, but unless Congress acts, the tax credit will end in 2023. Extending this credit will enable millions more Americans to benefit from solar energy.
It also creates jobs! Solar installers and others in the solar industry need predictability. If the federal incentives are only extended one year at a time, businesses can’t make plans about when to hire or how busy they’ll be.
Allow solar owners to get paid cash instead of take a tax credit
The solar investment tax credit (also known as the solar ITC) helps many people go solar, it leaves too many behind. Schools and nonprofit organizations cannot use the credit, since they do not pay taxes. Low-to-moderate income families may not make enough money to qualify for the tax credit. Allowing them to take the credit as a grant brings fairness to the system.
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Improvement Act of 2021 would provide funding to allow agricultural and rural electric cooperatives to be eligible for solar project grants, and fund energy storage projects for the first time. Solar United Neighbors has helped farms and rural businesses across the country benefit from this program. We know it works! In addition to helping rural businesses to install solar, the program creates much-needed good paying jobs in rural communities.
Don’t forget to personalize your message! Tell them why you support solar energy. If you have solar, tell them how it has benefited you and your family. If you don’t, tell them how taking action now will help you go solar in the future.