Sheet metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association

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The POWER Act introduced in Congress

Mar 11, 2016

Good for SMACNA members’ businesses

In early February, Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Representatives Tom Reed (R-23rd-N.Y.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-3rd-Ore.) introduced the Senate (S. 1516) and House (H.R. 2657) versions of The Power Resiliency and Efficiency (POWER) Act, which would improve the federal tax incentives for industrial energy efficiency applications, such as combined heat and power (CHP).

With nearly four-dozen House cosponsors and a growing Senate support base it is looking more probable that CHP/WHP will see more incentives to growth this year.

As a longtime member of the Alliance for Industrial Efficiency (AIE), SMACNA has persevered for many years to help build support at the state and national levels for improving and maintaining the investment tax credit for both CHP and waste heat to power (WHP). These investments are good for the economy, the environment, and SMACNA members’ businesses, especially now that CHP/WHP applications are increasingly found in commercial, public, multifamily and high tech manufacturing facilities.

Summary of the POWER Act

The POWER Act would change Section 48 of the tax code (the Investment Tax Credit) to reduce the capital costs of combined heat and power and waste heat to power projects, and provide parity compared with other clean and efficient energy technologies. It would:

  • Increase the credit from 10 percent to 30 percent. Some energy technologies, such as solar, currently receive a 30 percent ITC, but combined heat and power is only eligible for 10 percent. Raising the level of the credit would establish parity and allow technologies to better compete with one another.
  • Apply the credit towards a project’s first 25 megawatts, rather than the first 15 megawatts, and remove the cap limiting the credit to projects under 50 megawatts. The current caps have hindered the deployment of industrial energy efficiency technologies for large energy users.
  • Extend the credit for two years, to the end of 2018. The current ITC is set to expire in December 2016.
  • Add WHP as a qualifying technology that is able to access the ITC.

Show your support for the POWER Act (H.R. 2657 / S. 1516) and other legislative issues by contracting your member of Congress. Send them a letter today through SMACNA’s Advocacy website.