The 30% solar Federal Incentive Tax Credit (ITC) is due to sunset starting in 2020. This tax credit has enabled solar to grow as an industry and helped countless families live more sustainably. As news of the climate crisis gets more dire each week, now is not the time to slow down. For the past few weeks we have been very focused on pushing congress to support the Solar ITC extension. Here’s an update on what we’ve been up to, and a few insights gained from speaking to legislators about the likelihood of an ITC extension.
Gearing up for a day on Capitol Hill
Our ITC letter writing campaign and lobby days have been organized by the Amicus Solar Cooperative leadership. We are so appreciative of their expertise in organizing these efforts! Kevin Schulte of Green Spark put together a great letter for us to work from and created a list for each of us to send it to. Additionally, Amicus wrote a wonderful Op-Ed for us to customize and submit to our local news outlets.
Kevin Schulte with Elly Kugler, Staff Counsel for Representative Pramila Jayapal
Kevin Schulte runs a great company, but that’s not his only talent–he’s also a great leader for us on Capitol Hill. We had two lobby days, organized by and led by Kevin and the awesome Lloyd Ritter from Green Capitol. There were about 12 of us each day and we broke into two groups that each met with 10-12 members of congress.
L to R: Bobby Monacella, Ipsun; Bonnie Frye Hemphill, A & R Solar; Elly Kugler, Staff Counsel for Representative Pramila Jayapal; Melissa Brewster, Luminalt; Patrick Cavanugh, Ipsun
Selfie with our great VA Senator Tim Kaine
We learned a lot from the 40-plus staffers and members we visited, and it was clear they learned from us as well. We were sure to emphasize the importance of well-paying, long-term careers that solar brings across many fields, all helped by the ITC. This point is resonating with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
Our message that Amicus members do good in the community, provide great jobs and are helping the planet was hitting home for them. We also let them know about the study recently done by Rhodium that shows the ITC is the most effective climate policy we currently have at our disposal. The positive numbers in the report definitely got their attention.
Many staffers we spoke with felt optimistic about the chances for the solar ITC to be included in a tax extenders package at the end of the year, so now is the time to step up the pressure on congress! Here’s an easy way to get your message to your legislators.
Ipsun’s CEO Herve Billiet with his lobby group; camera crews were focused on the impeachment hearing.
Solar companies from every part of the country were represented during the lobby days. Not only did we get a lot of good work done, but it was an extra bonus that we made new friends (including dogs), strengthened relationships and shared ideas as we walked the halls of the House and Senate office buildings. Thanks to Amicus for organizing these great opportunities for us to participate in democracy and make our voices heard!
If you have questions about the Federal Solar Tax Credit, give us a call at 866-484-7786. We love to talk about all of the incentives available to people who are considering going solar!