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Concord Monitor: Towns, schools can get get a ‘tax break’ for solar panels even though they don’t pay taxes

Posted by David Brooks on Sep 21, 2022

Concord Monitor detailed how towns and schools can make the most of benefits in the Inflation Reduction Act, quoting AEE's Tom Lewis on clean energy tax credits that can help. Read snippets below and the full article here

Towns, schools and non-profits should find it even easier to cut their power bill by putting up solar panels or installing batteries, thanks to a dry-sounding provision deep within the complexity of the huge Inflation Reduction Act.

Known as direct payment, it provides an easy way for institutions to get a rebate of 30% of the price of installing solar panels since they can’t benefit from the existing 30% tax break because they don’t pay taxes. 

“This makes it possible for them to take advantage of the tax credit … that they couldn’t before,” said Tom Lewis, a principal at Advanced Energy Economy Institute, a non-profit educational organization. Lewis was one of the panelists Monday at the annual New Hampshire Energy Summit in Concord.

Tax credits, especially the ITC or investment tax credit that covers up to 30% of the installation cost, have long been a big part of the financial calculus for whether to install renewable energy...

Under the new direct-pay option, institutions will get a check from the U.S. Treasury Department covering up to 30% of the cost after an installation is completed, Lewis said.

Details are still being worked out, but Lewis said towns and school districts should count on the payment if they’re thinking of asking voters for approval of renewable energy systems at the 2023 annual meeting. “It’s definitely something they should factor in their decision-making,” he said.

Read the full article here

Topics: Federal Policy, AEE In The News, Manufacturing and Infrastructure