Commercial solar PV and SHC get property tax-free status effective Jan. 2014

Jun 5th, 2013 | By | Category: Energy, Solar

A release from SolarConnecticut.org

HARTFORD, Conn. (June 4, 2013) Solar electric photovoltaic (PV) and solar heating and cooling (SHC) systems installed in Connecticut after January 1, 2014 will be property tax exempt cutting the cost of solar for state business by thousands of dollars under a bill supported and partially drafted by members of SolarConnecticut, Inc. and signed into law today by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

The new law also authorizes municipalities to waive some or all of the property tax currently assessed to owners of solar systems already installed or systems that will be installed prior to January 1, 2014 upon request of solar system owners.
This law became effective upon receiving the signature of Gov. Malloy who expedited the bill signing so that solar developers could offer the property tax savings to state businesses in time for next month’s Zero-emission Renewable Energy Credit (ZREC) reverse auction program.

The law applies to all Connecticut Class I renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and fuel cells and other clean energy technologies.  Details on the bill can be found at:  http://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/ACT/PA/2013PA-00061-R00SB-00203-PA.htm.

The bill signing is a significant victory for SolarConnecticut, the Clean  Energy Finance & Investment Authority (CEFIA) and others who supported the tax waiver which not only dramatically lowers the installed cost of commercial solar, but is expected to attract more competitive bidders to Connecticut’s electric ratepayer incentivized ZREC program.

“Property tax on commercial solar has been a real drag on getting businesses in medium and high property tax municipalities to work with our members on exploring solar,” said Michael Trahan, executive director of SolarConnecticut, the state’s solar business and advocacy group that worked closely with lawmakers to get the bill passed.  “There are several barriers to solar in Connecticut none of them any larger than property tax.   Our members were actively engaged in pushing this bill concept for nearly two years and today we’re happy to report a win.  This was a biggie.”

Residential PV and SHC are already exempt from property tax in Connecticut.

State House Energy committee Chairman Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) and committee ranking  House member Rep. Laura Hoydick (R-Stratford) championed the bill in the House going to great lengths to explain the benefits of bill to their respective caucuses and amending the original bill version to accommodate solar industry and municipal officials’ concerns.  As a result, the bill easily passed in the House on a bipartisan vote 119-14.  The state Senate previously passed the bill 21-12.

This year’s tax waiver bill originally included solar photovoltaics but left out solar heating and cooling (SHC), sometimes referred to as solar thermal.  SolarConnecticut worked with Rep. Reed and Energy committee Senate Chairman Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) who both agreed to allow SHC onto the list of qualifying technologies eligible for the tax waiver.

SolarConnecticut began working on the tax waiver more than a year ago with former state Senator Andy Roraback who filed the original bill and assisted in re-drafting the 2012 version of the bill to include SHC.  That bill passed in the state House, again with Rep. Reed –then vice-chair of the Energy committee–leading the effort, but died on the state Senate calendar.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment