Congress extends energy tax incentives, creates new credits through economic recovery package.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the revised Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 Oct. 3, and President Bush signed the legislation into law soon after. But banks weren’t the only ones breathing a sign of relief; proponents of energy efficiency and renewable energy manufacturers were as well. The bill also contained measures to extend existing renewable energy investment tax credits (ITC) for an additional eight years, and expanded them to include other critical technologies in the renewable energy marketplace.

“I think it was a stroke of political genius to incorporate the [energy tax credits] into the emergency stabilization bill,” Dan Ellis, president of Climate Master, told PM. For the past 18 months, Ellis has been traveling to Washington, D.C., conducting Congressional member meetings to convince legislators to not only extend the existing ITC, but to also include other renewables as well, such as geothermal heat pumps.

“We poured the coals to this,” Ellis said. “The geothermal heat pump industry hasn’t had tax incentives since 1980. Now, for the first time, we’ll have eight years of credits that will allow long-term decisions to be made "