Federal Investment Tax Credit for Solar could be extended past 2016; contact your senators!

We recently called on you to contact legislators in Washington state asking them to include a new productive incentive program in the recently-passed state budget. (We reported the results on our blog a few days ago.) But we’ve got another favor to ask re: your support for solar and the incentives that optimize its growth—this time on the FEDERAL level!

As you probably know, the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) offers buyers a 30 percent tax credit for solar systems installed on their homes or businesses, and it’s played an undeniable in the solar boom locally and nationally. Now–sooner than expected—we’ve got a chance to see this credit extended beyond 2016, when it’s set to expire.

Momentum is building in the U.S. Senate for the extension of a long list of expiring tax credits—and solar could be one of them! Along with orgs like the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), we’re working hard to make solar energy part of the bill—but we can’t do it alone. Senators need to know that YOU, their constituents, are passionate about seeing solar continue to grow. And extending the ITC would help ensure that continued growth.

What can you do to help? Most important right now:  send an email to your two U.S. Senators, urging them to contact Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) and ask that the ITC be included in any tax extenders legislation moving forward this year.

This tax credit was extended once, in 2008, and in that eight years, it’s helped to drive the phenomenal growth we’ve seen in the solar industry. President Obama mentioned in his last State of the Union address that every three weeks in 2014, we have installed as much solar power as we did in all of 2008.

Since the ITC went into effect, solar has become the fastest-growing source of renewable energy in the United States, employing 174,000 Americans, pumping nearly $20 billion a year into our economy and reducing 23.5 million metric tons of harmful carbon emissions—which is the equivalent of taking 5 million cars off our roads and highways.

Solar jobs grew 21 percent last year and have grown 86 percent since 2010. (That’s 20 times the rate of overall job growth!)

Last year, solar also provided one-third of all new electricity that came online nationwide. The US installed more solar in the past two years than in the previous 38 years combined.

In Washington state alone, solar installations are projected to triple just in 2015, according to the SEIA!

We’d like to believe that solar will stand on its own merits long into the future regardless of incentives, but there’s no question that incentives like the tax credit have spurred steady and vital growth—which is doing the environment and the economy tremendous good.

Please join our push to extend the ITC.  Click here to send an email to your Senators.

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