New low-income solar advocacy coalition forms to urge Congress for direct pay option

More than 350 environmental justice advocates, environmental groups and renewable energy companies announced the creation of: Residential renewable energy for everyone, a coalition aimed at expanding access to the economic, health and emissions benefits of clean energy for underprivileged and low-income households.

Founding members of the coalition include the National Wildlife Federation, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Black Owners of Solar Services, and the NAACP.

Lower-income families and communities of color face significant disparities in clean energy use, while spending a disproportionate share of their income on energy costs and experiencing greater vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Under the current tax system, 26 million households – including 3.2 million black households and 3 million Hispanic households – cannot take advantage of residential solar tax credits because they do not have sufficient taxable income.

The coalition calls for immediate action by Congress to repay or directly pay Section 25D tax credits for the purchase of clean energy in homes, giving more American families access to resilient, low-carbon energy sources, while helping to sustain systemic economic and environmental protection. address injustices and the country’s climate goals.

“Now is the time to help vulnerable communities go from surviving to thriving by creating a solar energy system that serves all Americans fairly,” said Mustafa Santiago Ali, VP of Environmental Justice, Climate and Community Revitalization for the National Wildlife Federation. “By repaying or directly paying the residential clean energy tax credit, Congress has the opportunity to help realize the vision of a just future for clean energy.”

The coalition urgently calls on the Senate Finance Committees and House Ways & Means to make Section 25D tax credits for the purchase of clean energy in homes repayable or direct, citing the challenges lower-income earners with limited or no tax liabilities face. in taking advantage of existing federal incentives.

A recent RAND Corporation working paper shows that the federal solar ITC can be adapted to provide greater access to low- and middle-income households in underserved and vulnerable communities. Under the current policy structure, the bottom 50% of US income earners take, on average, more than seven years to monetize the tax credit for investments in solar energy, putting solar energy out of reach for millions of Americans.

News item from Residential Renewables for All

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