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Legislature Supports Tax Credit for Geothermal Energy Systems

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Legislature Supports Tax Credit for Geothermal Energy Systems

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Acting on a resolution advanced by Legislator Dooley Kiefer, the Legislature, by unanimous vote of those present (Legislators Will Burbank, Carol Chock, and Jim Dennis were excused), urged the State Legislature to adopt proposed Assembly legislation that would amend state tax law to establish a tax credit for purchase and installation of geothermal energy systems, similar to what is currently available for solar and photovoltaic systems.  Legislator Kiefer reported that the Senate has already passed a companion bill.  The measure notes that the availability of credits for such systems would support the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals as specified in the county’s Comprehensive Plan and would support Solar Tompkins’ forthcoming initiative, Heat Smart Tompkins, focused on building efficiency upgrades combined with the installation of air-source and ground-source heat pumps.  The County’s Environmental Management Council has recommended expeditious action on the bill. 

In a memo to the Legislature, County Planning Commissioner Ed Marx expressed support for the resolution, stating, “Heat pumps are emerging as a key technology for significantly reducing the energy used, and greenhouse gases emitted, for heating and cooling buildings in our region and a financial incentive structure from the State would greatly enhance the ability for heat pumps to more widely penetrate the market.  Transitioning to highly efficient energy technology is essential to allow us to achieve the County’s goal of an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and interim goals of a 20% reduction by 2020.”