CHANTILLY, Va. — The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) is pleased that a bipartisan group of U.S. House and Senate legislators recently introduced the Power Efficiency and Resiliency (POWER) Act. The bills (S 1516 and HR 2657) would ensure that industrial energy efficiency technologies — combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power — are treated in a manner that is on par with other renewables covered by the investment tax credit.

SMACNA has long supported the investment tax credit (ITC) and other tax incentives for the construction of energy-efficient power plants, CHP facilities, and waste heat recovery (WHR) projects. The proposed legislative change would be particularly helpful for countless thousands of contractors on existing and future large CHP/WHP projects, including systems found on many large commercial, public, and industrial building sites.

Research has shown that when a business implements a highly efficient energy system featuring industrial, institutional, and commercial elements, it significantly reduces costs, curbs pollution, and enhances the resilience of the commercial electricity grid. The incentives in this bill could create as many as 1 million highly skilled jobs and spur more than $200 billion in private investment.

This bipartisan legislation would:

• Provide a 30 percent investment tax credit for industrial energy-efficiency systems equal to other technologies such as solar, fuel cells, and small wind turbines;

• Include waste heat to power as a qualifying technology that is eligible for the credit;

• Remove size and capacity restrictions, making CHP installations of any size eligible for the credit; and

• Extend the credit, which is scheduled to expire in December 2016 to December 2018.

By producing heat and power from a single fuel source, CHP has double the efficiency of central station power generation. Waste heat to power captures heat that would typically be vented from an industrial facility and uses it to make electricity with no additional combustion and no incremental emissions. More than 110 businesses, trade associations, nonprofit organizations, and research institutions have endorsed the POWER Act.

Publication date: 7/13/2015

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!