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House Committee Passes Renewable Energy Bills

Democrats Advance Bills to Make Renewable Energy More Accessible

Santa Fe, NM-  Several important environmental bills passed the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee today, paving the way for increased generation and storage of renewable energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The three bills advanced by the committee would make renewable energy more accessible to working New Mexicans and businesses.

The Energy Storage System Tax Credit HB 11, sponsored by Representatives Debra Sariñana (D-Albuquerque,) Meredith A. Dixon (D-Albuquerque) and Senator Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque), would help New Mexicans improve their capacity to store solar energy for use in their homes and businesses.

This bill would incentivize the use of solar energy by offering New Mexican households and businesses a tax credit for 40 percent of the cost of energy storage systems installed before 2025.  Energy storage systems provide families and businesses the capacity to store solar energy for when it’s needed, preventing disruptions during peak usage times, or in case of weather-related or mechanical difficulties.

“This tax credit is an important step forward in our state’s efforts to generate and store more renewable energy, which in the long term will help us to improve New Mexico’s energy resilience and reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases,” said Rep. Sariñana.

HB 34, sponsored by Rep. Joanne J. Ferrary (D-Las Cruces) and Senator William Soules (D-Las Cruces), makes tax rebates available for the installation of solar energy systems for low-income New Mexicans, extends the new solar market development income tax credit until December 31, 2031, and doubles the cap on the credit from $8 million to $16 million.

HB 35, also sponsored by Rep. Ferrary and Senator Soules, would restore and extend the Geothermal Ground-Coupled Heat Pump Tax Credit until the end of 2032. By making home geothermal energy equipment purchase and installation costs tax-refundable, this bill would make it more affordable for New Mexicans to efficiently regulate temperatures in their homes using the earth’s own geothermal energy, significantly reducing household greenhouse gas emissions.

“Making solar and geothermal energy more accessible for New Mexicans opens the door for more working families to use renewable energy and supports New Mexico’s continued transition toward an equitable, clean-energy economy and fight against climate change,” said Rep. Ferrary.

HB 11, HB 34, and HB 35 each passed the committee by votes of 7-4, along party lines.

The Roundhouse is open to the public for the session. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the building. Members of the public can also view floor sessions and committee meetings of this 30-day legislative session on the New Mexico legislature’s Webcasts tab, and provide comment via phone or Zoom as directed on the daily schedule.

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