It’s game time for renewable energy in the House. First up is the federal renewable portfolio standard. HR 969, known as the Udall-Platts Amendment, would require utilities nationwide to increase the amount of renewables in their portfolio to 20 percent by 2020. It will be voted on in the House on Friday. Take action here.

The RPS bill won’t do much for solar. If you want to see solar come into the mainstream — and you better — then the proper tool is the federal investment tax credit. Extending the current 30 percent ITC (and lifting the $2K cap for residential applications) is the single largest, most important piece of solar legislation this country has ever seen. HR 550 and SB 590 carried the critical extension of the federal investment tax credit for solar through all the key congressional committees. Now, as the House is working to pass comprehensive energy legislation, there’s a new vehicle: HR 2776. The bill contains the following provisions for solar:

  • Eight-year extension of the 30-percent commercial solar tax credits
  • Removal of the $2,000 cap on the residential tax credits
  • Ability to take the tax credits against the alternative minimum tax

Think of it as a 30-percent-off sale for solar across the nation.

In order for the final version of the energy bill to have a tax title, it is vital that H.R. 2776 pass the full House.

If you want to see solar come into the mainstream, here’s your chance to do your part. Call your Congressional Representative (Representative, not Senator), politely tell them how you feel about solar, and ask them to support HR 2776.

To find contact info for your congressional rep, enter your zip code here.

And while you are at it, put the number in your cell phone. Washington is a lonely place. Your elected officials are a long way from home, and need to hear from you to keep their minds focused on the task at hand.

The vote will take place Thursday or Friday. Act now, or no complaining later.