WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representatives Mikie Sherill (NJ-11) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) introduced the Revamping Appropriate Incentives for Solar Energy for (RAISE) the Roof Act, which clarifies and expands the solar investment tax credit (ITC) to include integrated solar roofs. This move would maximize the positive climate and economic impacts of the next generation of solar energy technology.
Senator Jon Ossoff (Ga.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“If we want to take meaningful action towards addressing the climate crisis, the future must be powered by clean energy. Solar energy is a great alternative that needs to be made more accessible to more Americans. The RAISE the Roof Act does just that,” said Sherrill in a written statement. “Clarifying and expanding the ITC to include new integrated solar roofing technology will make solar adoption easier and more available to more American families."
Sherrill said there is a unique opportunity to grow the clean energy sector, create jobs in the U.S., and make it easier for consumers to access renewables like solar, all while fueling the recovery from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
“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,” said Ossoff. “I will continue leading Senate efforts to scale up renewable energy production.”
Currently, only traditional, large-scale solar panels qualify for the investment tax credit and innovations like solar integrated roofing products are not covered. This outdated gap in the tax code makes it hard for manufacturers to accurately price the installation of a solar integrated roof for consumers and forces roofers and homeowners to delineate what part of a highly integrated job would apply for the credit.
The RAISE the Roof Act addresses this problem by allowing the entirety of an integrated solar roof to be covered by the investment tax credit and eliminating confusion and red tape that currently exist. It also would allow consumers to expense roof repairs and replacements that are sometimes necessary for solar installation.
“We see tremendous opportunity in roofs as real estate to drive the acceleration of clean energy,” said Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy. “This bill positions existing American manufacturing resources and know-how to contribute meaningfully to a resilient path forward in our energy infrastructure.”
The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) expressed its support for the bill, saying that expanding access to new technology will unlock the potential for solar roofing to play a bigger role in the clean energy sector.
“We are pleased to see today's introduction of the RAISE the Roof Act," said Reid Ribble, NRCA CEO. "By modernizing the ITC, this critical piece of legislation will bolster the solar energy and home improvement industries, create 21st-century jobs for hardworking Americans across the country, and help to tackle climate change. We thank Rep. Mikie Sherrill for her leadership on this forward-thinking policy, and we look forward to working alongside her office to see this legislation pass Congress and become law."
The legislation has also been endorsed or supported by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, Mosaic, Vote Solar, Greenwork, and Professor Daniel Kammen, chair of the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley and a James and Katherine Lau Distinguished Professor of Sustainability.
“We need millions of new solar installations to decarbonize the economy, and that starts with equal tax treatment for solar built on new home construction, manufactured homes, and existing homes,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “This legislation will make sure that homes that have solar built into the original design are eligible for the same ITC benefits as any other residential solar installation and will extend the cost-saving benefits of solar energy to all Americans. We’re pleased to support this bill.”
Pascrell echoed these sentiments, saying solar roofing is one of the most promising and easily accessible avenues to reaching climate goals.
“As the threat of climate change grows, we have no choice but to use every tool in our toolbox to combat it and encourage clean energy solutions,” said Pascrell, a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. “By expanding the ITC 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.”
Congress created the solar ITC in 2006 to spur solar energy growth in America and drive economic gains through the creation of new, clean manufacturing and construction jobs. As a result, the solar industry grew by 10,000% and added hundreds of thousands of jobs to the U.S. economy.