Press Releases

Washington, DC – The comprehensive tax extension package approved by the Senate includes a measure to renew critical tax incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today announced.

A number of the energy efficiency and renewable tax incentives included in the bill were modeled after bipartisan legislation previously authored by Senator Feinstein along with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and others. These incentives are set to expire at the end of the year.

The bill approved by the Senate today would need to be approved by the House and sent to the President, before it can become law. And it will all need to be accomplished before Congress adjourns for the end of session.

“The Senate today finally broke the logjam holding up the renewal of critical tax incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Senator Feinstein said. “This is a make-or-break moment for the solar, wind and geothermal industries – who can’t afford to compete with coal and natural gas, unless we get these incentives signed into law. And more than 30,000 green economy jobs in California hang in the balance. So, we’ve still got our work cut out for us. Our colleagues in the House must quickly follow suit, and send this bill to the President’s desk.”

Key energy efficiency tax incentive provisions:

  • Provides an estimated $1.779 billion in incentives for energy efficient buildings, based upon legislation introduced by Senators Snowe and Feinstein, the Extend Act (S.822).
  1. Renews critical tax credits for energy efficient upgrades for existing homes, such as air conditioners and insulation. 
  2. Extends a tax credit for energy efficient new homes up to $2,000.  
  3. Extends for five years a landmark energy efficient commercial buildings deduction. 
  • Provides eight years of tax stability to the solar industry, laying the groundwork to repower California – these provisions are also based on the Snowe-Feinstein Extend Act.
  1. Extends the 30 percent investment tax credit for solar energy property and qualified fuel cell property through 2016 – this will provide long-term stability to the solar and fuel cell industries in California.  With this provision in place, large-scale solar projects will move forward. 
  2. Extends the credit for residential solar property for eight years through 2016, and removes the credit cap (currently $2,000) for solar electric investments.
  • Extends the Renewable Production Tax Credit for wind production for one year, and for biomass and geothermal facilities for two years.  
  • Authorizes $800 million of new clean renewable energy bonds. This provision helps California’s public power agencies, such as Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, shift to renewable energy sources.