American Public Power Association is calling for equal access to federal energy tax credits

Public power utilities and rural electric cooperatives are asking Congress to support policies that will allow equal access to direct payments for renewable and clean energy tax credits.  

Joy Ditto is the president and CEO of the American Public Power Association.  

“We really don’t want new assistance for tax, we just want equal access to federal energy tax credits that are already out there and have, in many cases, been around for 20+ years,” she says.

She tells Brownfield public power utilities and rural electric cooperatives don’t currently have access to tax credits because they’re not-for-profits.

“Getting that comparable incentive will really help spur rural development in our communities,” she says. “Right now, we can only get the benefit of these tax credits by purchasing power from third-party project developers. So, getting equal access is important for smaller towns that may find it hard to attract private investors.”

In a recent letter to Congressional leaders, the American Public Power Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and Large Public Power Council said that federal incentives must be available to all electricity providers to meet the administration’s clean energy targets.

“Reaching these goals will be a daunting challenge, but our members have been and continue to be committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, for community-owned electric utilities, all the increased costs associated with drastically reshaping our generation profile will be borne by our customers and consumer-owners,” the letter says. “As such, we cannot afford inefficient or ineffective policies. If the goal is to move toward a cleaner energy grid…federal incentives must be made available to all electricity providers.”

Ditto says APPA is hopeful because “there is bipartisan support in this type of environment for these types of comparable tax incentives for our members.”

The community-owned electric utilities that the groups represent include public power utilities, which serve more than 49 million Americans, and rural electric cooperatives, which serve 42 million Americans. Community-owned electric power utilities operate in every U.S. state and territory and serve 30 percent of all retail customers in the U.S.

APPA is the national service organization representing 2,000 publicly owned, not-for-profit electric utilities in 49 states and five territories.

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Audio: Joy Ditto

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