BTEC, PFI: Industry must urge Congress to support BTU Act

By Anna Simet | November 08, 2013

The Biomass Thermal Energy Council and the Pellet Fuels Institute are urging stakeholders of the biomass thermal industry to contact their congresspersons about supporting the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act, which has been introduced in both the House and Senate as S. 1007 and H.R. 2715.

Earlier this week, Bill sponsors Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, and Rep. Mike Michaud sent a letter to other members of Congress to request cosponsorship of the BTU Act.

In the letter, King and Collins point out that biomass heating systems can cost nearly twice as much as oil or gas systems of similar capacity, but the upfront cost is recouped through the extremely low cost of biomass fuel, which often costs $2 per gallon less than heating oil. “As installed system volume increases, the cost of biomass heating systems will be reduced, thereby eliminating the need for these incentives,” it states.

So far, the bill has attracted bipartisan support from six additional senators and six representatives, according from a notice from BTEC and PFI.

The BTU Act provides incentives to install residential, commercial and industrial biomass heating systems by modifying renewable energy provisions of the current tax code. Altering Section 25D, the act would provide a 30 percent investment tax credit to qualifying residential heating systems, as it already does for many other renewable energy technologies.

The bill also changes Section 48 to provide a tiered tax credit for the installed cost of biomass-fueled heating or cooling systems for commercial or industrial applications.

BTEC and PFI recommend calling or emailing members of Congress to urge their support for the BTU Act.