Representatives Mikie Sherill (D-NJ) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to clarify and expand the solar investment tax credit (ITC) to include integrated solar roofs.
Backers said the Revamping Appropriate Incentives for Solar Energy (RAISE) the Roof Act would maximize the positive climate and economic impacts of the next generation of solar energy technology.
Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
Congress first created the ITC in 2006 to spur deployment and economic opportunity in the solar sector. The current 26% tax credit only covers the solar roof tiles, but not other parts of the roof, something the industry sees as an obstacle to attracting new customers. The RAISE the Roof Act attempts to solve this problem by allowing the entirety of an integrated solar roof to be covered by the investment tax credit. It also would allow consumers to expense roof repairs and replacement that is sometimes necessary for solar installation.
The measure could be folded into the Democrats’ budget reconciliation bill, which is expected to carry out some of President Biden’s key climate change measures affecting the electric power sector.
Both Tesla and GAF Energy, among others, manufacture integrated rooftop solar products. GAF Energy is bringing its manufacturing capacity from Asia to a facility in San Jose, California. The company is a unit of Standard Industries, which has its headquarters in Rep. Sherill’s district.
Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy, said in a statement that the bill positions U.S. manufacturing resources “to contribute meaningfully to a resilient path forward in our energy infrastructure.”
Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said, “This legislation will make sure that homes that have solar built into the original design are eligible for the same ITC benefits as any other residential solar installation.”
The legislation also won the backing of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, Mosaic, Vote Solar, and Greenwork.
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