WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new solar bill was recently introduced in the House by New Jersey Democratic Representatives Bill Pascrell and Mikie Sherrill. The bill’s goal: substantially cut the cost to install solar roofs for both residential and commercial properties.

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The Senate floor saw the same bill, named The Raise the Roof Act, introduced by Georgia’s Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff. The measure aims to reduce solar panel installation costs by expanding tax credits which would cover a “cutting-edge integrated solar roofing system” along with any needed roof replacements and repairs.

When asked about the bill, Senator Ossoff said, “This bill will make it more affordable for all Americans to install rooftop solar panels, saving them money on their electric bills and boosting renewable energy production nationwide. I will continue leading Senate efforts to scale up renewable energy production.”

An Overdue Revision Reflects Solar Panel Technology’s Advances

The bill first needs to pass both The House and The Senate before it’s signed into law by President Joe Biden. If it does go through, The Raise the Roof Act would in effect amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, which, being decades old, only accounts for homeowners and businesses using traditional, legacy solar panel systems to access the tax credit.

Solar technology has come a long way since 1986. Many homeowners and businesses are now using integrated solar roofing technology; The Raise the Roof Act would allow these folks installing or using the updated tech to qualify for the tax credit, which clocks in at an impressive 26%.

New Jersey Rep Bill Pascrell, who’s introducing the bill to the House, was quoted as saying, “By expanding the Investment Tax Credit to include solar roofing technologies, this innovative legislation will help grow the solar industry and better encourage individual Americans to join the fight against climate change.” Biden has stated his goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by the year 2030.

Mikie Sherrill Makes Her Voice Heard

When asked about the bill and why she’s pushing for it so hard, Sherill pointed out that The Raise the Roof Act presents a “unique opportunity” to expand the clean energy sector, which would result in significant job growth, make it easier for homeowners and business owners to take advantage of renewable energy sources, all while cutting costs for everyone involved.

Sherill went on to say, “We’ve already seen the incredible impact the solar Investment Tax Credit has had on our clean energy economy since it was implemented 15 years ago. This legislation will only bolster that growth and incentivize the expansion of the clean energy sector… across the country.”

When SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) was asked to provide statistical data to update the country on where we’re at solar-wise, they put the number at nearly 3 million solar energy systems installed. For a nation trying to cut its carbon footprint in half in less than ten years, that’s not a bad start. Solar panel installations create many, many jobs as well, with over 230,000 Americans now working either full or part time in the solar industry.

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