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–Updated
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. The credit provides a tax credit of $300 on an appliance that is 75% efficient. The credit applies to appliances purchased between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2013.
The new tax credit as outlined provides:
· 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.
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:
1. Secure re-authorization of and mandatory funding for renewable energy titles as part of a long-term Farm Bill extension.
2. 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.
3. Continue collaboration with other renewable energy organizations with like-minded visions and priorities as well as federal and state government agencies.
4. Continue to expand the reporting mechanisms within the Energy Information Administration.
PFI staff and members will use the following strategies to pursue its goal:
• Simplification and streamlining of application process for REAP and similar programs
• Work to gain support and co-sponsors for legislation that is beneficial to the biomass thermal industry, including a standalone thermal biomass Investment Tax Credit bill
• Securing extension and increase of biomass appliance tax credit for 2014 and beyond
• 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)
• Continue to recruit Members of Congress to become part of the Congressional Biomass Caucus
• Securing a universal definition for biomass
• Seeking promotion of pellets under the federal definition of advanced biofuels