How the Build Back Better bill could boost clean energy for low-income homeowners

Read the full story at Utility Dive.

Tax language in Democrats’ $1.75 trillion budget reconciliation bill could pave the way for more low-income homeowners and renters to build and access renewable energy if it remains in the final bill as written, advocates say. 

The current version of the budget bill includes a direct pay option for the commercial investment tax credit (ITC) and refunds for the residential ITC, rather than having both of them pay out as tax credits. Yesenia Rivera, director of energy equity and inclusion at Solar United Neighbors (SUN), said that change, previously passed by the House Ways and Means Committee, is “key to an equitable transition” by helping low- and moderate-income households install solar at a significantly lower up-front cost. 

Additionally, the bill, along with the infrastructure bill signed by President Joe Biden on Monday, contain several provisions that will make electric vehicles and charging infrastructure more accessible to low-income customers. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill puts $7.5 billion towards publicly-available chargers, while the budget bill extends tax credits to lower the cost of the vehicles.

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