Finally! A Solar Power Roof That Won’t Break the Bank

GAF Solar Power Roof
October 26, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

By Colin Sheehan. 

Earlier in August, a new bill was introduced that will make it more affordable for homeowners and business owners to install solar power roofs. 

The Revamping Appropriate Incentives for Solar Energy (RAISE) the Roof Act, introduced by New Jersey House Representatives Mikie Sherill and Bill Pascrell, Jr., was brought to the attention of the House early in August. Georgia Senator Jon Ossoff also introduced a companion legislation in the Senate just a few days later.

This bill would allow those interested in installing fully integrated solar roof systems to use investment tax credits (ITC) to aid their project. It would also boost renewable energy production nationwide, create more jobs in the solar industry and grant more access to consumers looking to switch to renewable energy. 

“Clarifying and expanding the ITC to include new integrated solar roofing technology will make solar adoption easier and more available to more American families,” said Representative Mikie Sherrill. 

The legislation would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 if approved by both the House and the Senate, and if signed into law by President Biden. The current law only allows people using traditional solar panels to take advantage of the tax credit.  

“By expanding the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to include solar roofing technologies, this innovative legislation will help grow the solar industry and better encourage individual Americans to join the fight against climate change,” said Representative Bill Pascrell

Solar roofing is one of the most accessible routes to address climate change and therefore could accelerate the use of clean energy. Technologies like Tesla’s solar shingles or GAF’s low-profile solar systems are just beginning to come into the market, and the RAISE the Roof Act would allow the entirety of these integrated solar roof systems to be covered by the ITC.  

“We see tremendous opportunity in roofs as real estate to drive the acceleration of clean energy,” said Martin DeBono, President GAF Energy. “This bill positions existing American manufacturing resources and know-how to contribute meaningfully to a resilient path forward in our energy infrastructure.” 

President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Abigal Ross Hopper, suggests increased solar usage would also help “decarbonize the economy,” or aid in the advancement of an economy based on low-carbon power sources, thereby decreasing the output of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the atmosphere, especially carbon dioxide. As many environmental and economic outlets suggest, such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the only way to deal with climate change is sustained decarbonization. 

“We need millions of new solar installations to decarbonize the economy, and that starts with equal tax treatment for solar built on new home construction, manufactured homes and existing homes,” said Abigail Ross Hopper. “This legislation will make sure that homes that have solar built into the original design are eligible for the same ITC benefits as any other residential solar installation and will extend the cost-saving benefits of solar energy to all Americans. We’re pleased to support this bill.” 

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About the writer:

Colin Sheehan is a reporter, videographer and video editor at RoofersCoffeeShop®. He graduated with a B.A. in English with a Film Emphasis from the University of Colorado in Denver. Colin is a storyteller, musician and loves long hikes and camping in the Colorado mountains.

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