East Hawaii News

Legislation Headed by Schatz Signed into Law

December 21, 2015, 12:51 PM HST
* Updated December 21, 1:26 PM
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Legislation that will extend a tax credit to assist families in paying for residential clean energy equipment for five years was signed into law Friday by President Barack Obama.

The legislation, which provides families with the means to acquire items like photovoltaics and solar water heaters, was introduced by United States Senator Brian Schatz as S. 1755 to extend the Residential Energy Efficient Property Tax Credit, or 25D, earlier this year.

After introducing the legislation, the Hawai’i Senator worked on including a five-year tax credit extension into the omnibus spending bill. That bill was passed by the United States Senate on Friday.

“At a time when more and more families in Hawai‘i and across the country are cutting their utility bills by transitioning to clean energy, this bill is just common sense,” said Senator Schatz. “As we continue to move toward a clean energy economy, we need to continue finding sound solutions like clean energy tax credits that are both good for families in Hawai‘i and across the country, and for our energy security.”

The bipartisan deal includes the continuation of a 30 percent tax credit through 2019, which will then become 26 percent in 2020 and 22 percent in 2021.

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Information from the Office of Senator Schatz lists that about 97,000 Americans are employed installing solar equipment systems across the country.

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Since 2011, the cost of solar panels decreased by more than 60 percent, and by 2014, over 1,200 megawatts of residential solar were reportedly installed. Thirty-two percent of all new electric generating capacity in the U.S. came from solar energy.

Senators Martin Heinrich, Dianne Feinstein, Cory Booker, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Al Franken cosponsored Senator Schatz’s legislation.

Those interested in learning more about how to access the tax credit should visit the IRS website.

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