Public Power utilities will continue to offer innovative solutions

Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

The American Public Power Association is reflecting on gaining access to a comparable energy tax incentive that was previously unavailable for public power utilities and rural electric cooperatives.

President and CEO Joy Ditto says, “this will provide us a lot of options as we try to help our communities decide what they want to do on a host of clean energy projects—wind, solar, community solar, hydrogen, and other forward-looking projects like that. So, that was a really big win for us this year.”

The provision, a “direct pay refundable tax credit,” was made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act.

She says it was a long time coming after many years of advocating.  

“The Public Power utilities I represent don’t pay federal taxes, so when they provide tax incentives for things like clean energy production or development or other types of energy transition funding through the tax code, we previously didn’t get access to it,” he says. “That means that we had to go out for a purchase power agreement or do something with a third party and the federal funds intended to help were not directly available to help our customers. That was also true of the Rural Electric Cooperatives who are our brethren in serving rural communities. We both got access to this great tax incentive.”

Public Power utilities are ready to help rural customers, Ditto says.

“Even though often times they are smaller utilities, they’re doing innovative work and they’re very much focused on the needs of their customers first,” she says. “They’re not-for-profit and therefore in 2023 they’ll continue to reach out to customers to find out creative ways tat they can address challenges. That continued outreach will be very helpful especially as smaller communities try to access some of this federal funding.”

APPA represents 2,000 publicly owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that provide cost-based electricity to 49 million Americans in 49 states.

Audio: Joy Ditto

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