Meeting Public Comments

Subcommittee meeting and times are as follows:
A bill for an act relating to the solar energy system tax credit available against the individual and corporate income tax, the franchise tax, the moneys and credits tax, and including effective date and retroactive applicability provisions.
Subcommittee members: Lohse-CH, Boden, Isenhart
Date: Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Time: 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM
Location: RM 103, Sup. Ct. Chamber
Names and comments are public records. Remaining information is considered a confidential record.
Comments Submitted:

Andrew Fisher []
When I installed the solar array on my house in 2015, a large part of the reason I was able to make such a large investment was the state solar tax credit. Without that extra boost, my investment in clean energy would have had to wait at least another year or two. But since I did have the state tax credit then, I was able to afford it then, which meant I was able to start saving money on my electric bills sooner. I was then able to use that savings on purchasing other items money that got put into Iowa's economy. And the solar array has raised the value of my home, which helps everyone in my neighborhood when they go to sell.As of now, it is hard to get friends and neighbors to go solar due to the uncertainty in the tax credit. Please support this bill to help bolster the state solar tax credit and help more Iowans go solar.
Cody Smith [Center for Rural Affairs]
February 2, 2021Attn: House File 221Re: Center for Rural Affairs Letter of SupportSubcommittee: Reps. Lohse, Boden and IsenhartExpanding Iowas Solar Tax Credit will promote economic recovery and growth in ourstates rural communities. For every $1 of state resources invested in this tax credit, about $7 inprivate investment is leveraged in Iowas clean energy economy.1 The Iowa Solar Tax Creditwas implemented in 2012 with a stateimposed cap of $5 million annually, and in clearindication of its demand, the credit has been oversubscribed since 2015leaving a yearslongwaiting list of farmers, small businesses, and homeowners who have already invested in solarenergy. According to the Iowa Department of Revenue, the oversubscription has grown sorapidly that, in 2020, 99.7% of the tax credit was committed before the calendar year evenbegan.2 By allocating the additional $7 million proposed in House File 221 to pay down thiscurrent waitlist and raising the annual cap to $10 million, the Legislature can stimulate ruraleconomies and provide immediate, meaningful relief for Iowans who have been hard hit by theCOVID19 recession by putting money back in their pockets.Farmers, small businesses, and homeowners leverage Iowas Solar Tax Credit to lowerenergy costs and invest in the communities they live and work in. Across rural Iowa,livestock producers and farmers have adopted solar energy as a crucial costsaving strategy tohelp meet their bottom line. In fact, the Census of Agriculture found 90,142 U.S. farms utilizedsolar energy systems in 2017, a 60% increase from the 36,331 farms reported in the 2012 count.3There are several uses for solar on the farm such as the operation of grain drying equipment andventilation of animal confinements. During corn harvest years, drying the grain down to thedesirable moisture level for safe storage can create a significant energy demand. The bottom lineof Iowas farm operations would continue to benefit from an expanded, decoupled, andpredictable solar tax credit.Doubling the statemandated cap of $5 million annually to $10 million will put ruralcommunities in a competitive position to attract jobs and investment from private industry.In fact, the credit has already helped drive investment in solar jobs, expanding fromapproximately 350 jobs in 2015 to 869 in 2019.4 In addition, there are at least 85 companiesengaged in the solar energy industry supply chain who power local economies withmanufacturing, installation, and maintenance jobs.5 To put Iowas rural communities on abrighter path forward to attract new, goodpaying jobs from major retailers, technologycompanies, and others, the state could act now to double this stifling cap.By decoupling Iowas Solar Tax Credit from the federal incentive, Iowa can ensurelongterm prosperity in a rapidly approaching clean energy future. As it exists currently,farmers and small business owners who invest in solar energy are at the mercy of anunpredictable federal government when making investments in solar energy. By decoupling theIowa Solar Tax Credit from the federal Investment Tax Credit, the Legislature can reaffirmIowas place as a national clean energy leader while providing certainty for solar customers. Thisbill allows the state to chart its own path forward by removing the risk of federal inaction andsetting the Iowa Solar Tax Credit at 15% of total project cost and setting a sunset for Dec. 30,2030.Given the demonstrable positive impact the Iowa Solar Tax Credit has already had on Iowasrural economies, small business owners, and farmers, we encourage swift passage of House File221 to bolster our states clean energy leadership well into the future.Respectfully submitted,Cody SmithPolicy Associatecodyscfra.org402.687.2100 ext. 1016Sources:1,Chapter2USStateLevel/4
Eric Canfield [Purelight Power LLC]
This new bill looks amazing. Thank you guys for all of your hard work in getting this done. We hope that this all gets approved as planned and Iowans can start to see the extra benefit from this.
Thomas Carsner []
I urge legislators to support HF 221. Increasing the solar tax credit to $10M and paying off the $7M backlog is crucial to helping expansion of solar projects. When I installed solar panels on my residential home in 2018 through Solarize Johnson County, I had to wait one year, until 2019 Tax Year, to receive my tax credit. It would have helped my tax situation in 2018 if I had received it that year. Others are likely in the same situation. Increasing the credit to $10M and paying off the backlog will help stimulate interest in the future. I encourage legislators to next include wind energy projects for some kind of tax credits. Iowa needs as much renewable energy as fast it can come on line.
Mary Corsair [Indianola Green Team]
I am very excited to see this Bill 221 brought forward and hope it will have broad, bipartisan support! My husband and I recently had our home evaluated through Grow Solar Warren County a partnership with The Nature Conservancy and a solar company and supported by the Indianola Sustainability Committee. We are VERY interested in putting solar panels on our home, but with the tax credits going away we decided it was too expensive at this time and we wouldn't live long enough to see a return on our investment. It makes zero sense to be disincentivizing people from installing clean, renewable energy on our homes and other buildings when the disasters caused by global warming are intensifying every year! Public policy should SUPPORT efforts to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions and HB221 is certainly a great example of this! I hope both parties will join to support this important step in moving toward 100% clean, renewable energy just as quickly as we CAN!
Rich Young [Lucky Star Farm]
We added solar energy to our small farm outside Iowa City in 2019 as part of our county's group buy program. The state tax incentives were a major factor in our decision to move forward. Although we had to wait until this year to get our credit due to the huge backlog, we are grateful that Iowa has continued to fund this program, which ultimately benefits small local companies and provides good paying jobs. Paying down the backlog and increasing the capacity of this program will reap tremendous dividends for our economy and our environment.When we added a guest rental unit to our farm in 2020, we chose to go with all electric power for heating and cooling, cooking, and hot water and expanded our existing solar installation to support the extra load. While we still get a slightly smaller federal credit for this expansion, we were ineligible for the state credit because the new installation did not go on a separate meter (which costs an extra $36.50 per month!). I'm sure as many other farmers grow their operations and look to expand their solar production, they will encounter this same issue, which can be a big deterrent to moving forward. I would propose to amend section 1.4.c of this bill to eliminate "separate and distinct" as a condition for qualifying for the Solar Energy System Tax Credit. This will help remove an obstacle to expanding existing installations, reduce longrun costs for other farmers and homeowners, and provide even greater benefit for our economy and environment.
Ronald Warnet [Simpson College]
This bill looks very exciting for Iowa. I used tax credit to install a geothermal heating and air conditioning unit back is 2011. I was very pleased with being able to do something for the environment and to reduce my energy costs. This bill would allow me to install solar panels to provide at least some of the electrical needs of the geothermal system. I am strongly in favor of the bill and commend you for putting it on the docket for this years session.
Bill Howard []
What a great jobs bill. This will allow Iowa to be a leader in sustainable renewable energy and add many good paying jobs to our economy. I sure hope this will fine bipartisan support.
Brian Carter [Iowa annual conference of the United Methodist Church]
I am a lobbyist for the United Methodist Church in Iowa. We are declared in favor of this bill. We support renewable energy and believe this bill is a positive step in increasing Iowa's choice of renewable energy.