PFI’s Government Affairs Committee works to serve its members’ businesses by advocating the pellet industry’s interests to all levels of government and protecting the industry from restrictive public policy and regulation. The Government Affairs Committee’s dedicated member involvement has been a key component in the success of PFI. PFI members have voluntarily dedicated countless hours to the GA Committee and their hard work is paying off for the industry.
For a primer on state legislative incentives and assistance programs for wood pellets that could potentially be replicated in other states, please see PFI – Examples of State Legislative Incentives.
Biomass Heating Appliance Tax Credit
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law by President Obama in early January 2013, extended the tax credit on biomass burning appliances, including pellet stoves, through December 31, 2013.
The tax credit provided:
· Tax credit of $300 for the purchase of biomass heating appliance in 2012 and 2013
· Removal of the lower heating value level (LHV) efficiency measurement
Many retailers have expressed the importance of the tax credit as a an incentive for customers to purchase clean, efficient pellet stoves. PFI is working to see this tax credit re-instated for 2014 and extended for 2015 and beyond. ze tax incentives that expired at the end of 2013 will come up for consideration in the Lame Duck Congressional session following the November 2014 election.
Biomass Thermal Utilization Act (BTU Act)
On Wednesday, May 22, 2013 Senator Angus King (I-ME) introduced S. 1007, the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act of 2013. The BTU Act, co-sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), has been referred to the Committee on Finance. The legislation would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include biomass heating appliances for tax credits available for energy-efficient building property and energy property. PFI has been working with Senator King’s office over the last several months to help craft the bill, which has garnered broad support across varied industries.
PFI is monitoring the progress of this legislation and will update members on how they can help in the effort to see the bill passed. We will continue our efforts to seek Republican and Democratic cosponsorship of this legislation so that when an opportunity emerges to move its provisions forward, we can demonstrate to Senate leadership broad based support for the bill.
Legislative and Regulatory Priorities
Goal: To Achieve Parity with Other Renewable Energy Sources in Federal Policy and Regulatory Arena.
To achieve this goal, PFI will focus on the following priorities:
• Ensure the inclusion of thermal biomass in federal renewable energy mandates and continue the pursuit of opportunities to include pellets in portfolios for heating military facilities.
• Continue collaboration with other renewable energy organizations with like-minded visions and priorities as well as federal and state government agencies.
• Continue to expand the reporting mechanisms within the Energy Information Administration.
• Work to gain support and co-sponsors for legislation that is beneficial to the biomass thermal industry, including the BTU Act
• Continue to pursue the possibility of a checkoff program for wood pellets with USDA, and other industry groups
• Monitor comprehensive tax reform effort to determine opportunities for biomass energy to achieve parity with other renewables
• Support research and dissemination of information on the sustainability of wood pellets, along with their emissions levels
• Continue to assist with state initiatives to advance the densified biomass thermal industry, to include state Renewable Portfolio Standards
• Work with the administration to get biomass thermal into their talking points (e.g. mention in Presidential and cabinet-level speeches amongst other renewables)
• Securing a universal definition for biomass