Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Energy bills considered by AZ legislature

PHOENIX -- The Arizona House Water & Agriculture Committee is scheduled to consider two energy bills that deserve support.

HB2491 solar energy tax credit; application (Mason, Boone, Anderson, et al.) is merely a technical correction bill to clarify the commercial solar energy tax credit program established last year and make it clear that the credit can be claimed by a third party.

HB2493 energy production; tax credit (Mason, Burton, Cahill, Flake, et al.) provides a new individual and corporate income tax credit through December 31, 2011, for a taxpayer who produces and sells electricity from Combined Heat and Power (CHP). The credit is equal to one and a half cents multiplied by the total kilowatt hours of electricity or one and one tenths cents multiplied by the total horsepower hours of power. It includes an overall cap of $2 million dollars and a limit of $100,000 on the maximum tax incentive for any single installation. The tax credit for a 1 megawatt (MW) project would amount to about $100,000, and it is likely that most projects in Arizona would be less than 1 MW and would include facilities like hospitals, hotels, schools, and industrial users.

The key to a more sustainable energy future is for us to become as efficient as possible and also invest heavily in renewable energy. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is a major efficiency measure and is significantly more efficient than generating electricity and thermal energy separately. Some CHP systems are capable of an overall efficiency of over 80 percent. This is double that for conventional systems. Rather than just have the thermal energy wasted, it is recovered and can be used for space heating, hot water, steam, air conditioning, water cooling, product drying, or other thermal energy needs.

- adapted from Sierra Club

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