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May 06, 2019

King Backing Legislation that Simplifies Clean Energy Incentives

Clean Energy for America Act consolidates 44 tax incentives into three technology-neutral provisions to promote energy independence and a low-carbon economy

WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) is joining 25 Senate colleagues and introducing legislation that would make it easier for consumers and businesses to access incentives that encourage the use of clean energy. The Clean Energy for America Act would simplify the current tax code to streamline the process for home, business and vehicle owners to gain tax credits when they switch to cleaner energy. More specifically, the legislation consolidates the existing 44 energy tax incentives into three provisions that encourage clean electricity, clean transportation and energy efficiency.

“The tax code includes important incentives to encourage Americans to use clean power in their homes or businesses – but unfortunately, there are 44 different incentives that overcomplicate things for the average taxpayer,” said Senator King. “The Clean Energy for America Act would simplify the current law into three categories to better encourage Americans to use cleaner technology – a shift that will reduce their carbon footprint and increase their savings.”

The bill would work in a number of ways:

·       To incentivize clean electricity, the bill would provide a production tax credit (PTC) or an investment tax credit (ITC) to facilities that are at least 35 percent cleaner than average, with a maximum of a 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour PTC or a 30 percent ITC available for facilities with zero carbon emissions.

·       To encourage clean transportation fuel, the bill would provide a tax credit for fuels that are at least 25 percent cleaner than average, with the maximum credit of $1 per gallon available for fuels with zero carbon emissions. The bill also eliminates the per-manufacturer cap on the tax credit for electric vehicles and extends the credit for fuel cell electric vehicles.

·       To incentivize energy conservation, the bill would provide a performance-based tax credit for energy efficient homes and tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings. The value of the tax credit would increase as more energy is conserved.

A forceful advocate for clean energy solutions, Senator King is the lead sponsor of the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Support Act, legislation that would support businesses investing in energy efficiency technology, help diversify energy options for rural industries, and maximize use of Maine’s natural resources. Senator King introduced this bill in November 2017, after holding an ENR Committee field hearing at Robbins Lumber in Searsmont to identify opportunities to use new energy efficient technologies to sustain and strengthen rural industries. Senator King is also the lead sponsor for the Biomass Thermal Utilization (BTU) Acta bipartisan bill that would incentivize the use of energy efficiency biomass heaters in homes and businesses instead of relying on fossil fuel energy. He has also a cosponsored the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation which would establish an investment tax credit (ITC) for business and home use of energy storage.

Text of the legislation available is here.

A one-page summary of the bill is available here.

A section-by-section summary of the bill is available here.

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