Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor calls on extending important tax credit for businesses who want to go solar

Climate Crisis Committee Chair highlights cost savings and job creation in the “Sunshine State” as Tampa small business saves $20,000 on annual electric bill

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Washington, November 6, 2019 | comments
Today, U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (FL14), Tampa business owner Ivan Montoya, Solar Axiom’s Elio Muller and Tampa Bay Solar’s Steve Rutherford called on Congress to extend the federal solar tax credit by the end of the year. Castor highlighted the significant cost savings for small businesses like the Montoya Family Maaco Paint and Collision Repair in Town ‘N Country, which has nearly eliminated its entire monthly electric bill and draws almost all its power from clean energy after installing a solar rooftop .
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Today, U.S. Representative Kathy Castor (FL14), Tampa business owner Ivan Montoya, Solar Axiom’s Elio Muller and Tampa Bay Solar’s Steve Rutherford called on Congress to extend the federal solar tax credit by the end of the year. Castor highlighted the significant cost savings for small businesses like the Montoya Family Maaco Paint and Collision Repair in Town ‘N Country, which has nearly eliminated its entire monthly electric bill and draws almost all its power from clean energy after installing a solar rooftop – thanks to the solar investment tax credit (ITC), which will begin phasing down at the end of this year. Just last week, as Chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, U.S. Rep. Castor urged the House Ways & Means Committee to extend the solar ITC – and to prioritize other clean energy tax policies – in any end-of-year tax deal.

“The Congress is working on extending the solar tax credit - this is a winning proposition all the way around,” said Castor. “Here today, you have a longstanding Tampa Bay small business owner who is helped by the solar tax credit and is looking to expand solar power to two other local auto shops.

“Bottom line, Ivan is saving significant money on his electric bill using the power of the God-given sun. This is so important in the Sunshine State, where the state of Florida is lagging behind others when it comes to renewable power. If our state policymakers aren’t going to take action, it’ll be up to us at the local level with business owners and experts to make this work for our neighbors. I’m proud and hope we can spread the message across Florida and the country about how important this tax credit is and urge Congress to renew it before the end of the year.”

“We’ve been running solar since February. Before the program, we were spending $1800 a month on electric power, and now we only pay maintenance for the account which is $33 a month. Our savings are roughly $20,000 dollars a year – this will allow us to lower our operating cost and pass the savings on to consumers down the road. We’re expanding solar to our other shops in Brandon and Sarasota. The tax credits are something that we’ve took into account, and we’d like to have it extended so we can continue on with the program,” said Ivan Montoya, owner of Maaco Paint and Collision Repair.

“We’re very proud of this project and we’re proud of the fact that public policy is working for family businesses this way. Without the credit, this wouldn’t happen. This makes economic sense, and this is a great example of when government and public policy and leadership happen. We really appreciate the Congresswoman’s leadership to try to pass it forward and do more,” said Solar Axiom President, Elio Muller.

“The solar investment tax credit has been a tremendous support for our industry. It’s a job creator, and more importantly, we’re protecting the environment, and we’re making a great investment for businesses as well as residential customers,” said Tampa Bay Solar President, Steve Rutherford.

The solar ITC has been instrumental to the growth of solar-powered electricity generation in the United States. Extending the solar ITC would drive $87 billion in economic investment across the United States, creating more than 100,000 jobs in the solar industry and reducing the equivalent carbon emissions of eliminating over 90 coal plants.

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