On April 17th, the Oregon branch of the Solar Energy Industry Association (OSEIA) organized a Solar Lobby Day in hopes of renewing the RETC. The Residential Energy Tax Credit, or RETC for short (pronounced ret-see), is Oregon's solar tax credit that helps to offset the cost of investing in solar. This state-wide incentive is capped at $6,000 and is claimed over 4 years, ($1,500/year), but is set to expire at the end of 2017.
Our all-star solar consultant, Terry Tomei, was on the front lines meeting with legislators at the Capitol to explain the RETC and how solar incentives are critical to maintaining a healthy and sustainable solar industry in the State of Oregon.
“Solar has always enjoyed broad bipartisan support in Oregon," noted Terry. "The RETC works. It has been a driving force behind the immense growth of Oregon’s solar industry—currently supporting a workforce of 4,500 Oregonians. Homeowners have installed about 54 Mega-watts of solar power, putting Portland in the top 20 solar cities throughout the USA.
But this is year different. The RETC is going to expire unless we renew it. In a year where the state is facing a $1.8 billion budget shortfall, this sounds like an easy decision. But in reality, the RETC produces more revenue for the state than it costs!"
Over the last few months, OSEIA has worked with legislators on HB 2681—a six year extension for RETC. HB 2681 is sponsored by Portland's very own Representative Rob Nosse of NE & SE Portland! Terry met with Representative Nosse to share his solar story and discuss the many perspectives to the state's budgetary predicament. As our representatives consider where to cut back, our message is clear: Renew the RETC!