May 07, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand, Higgins, Arcuri, McHugh Introduce Legislation to Establish Tax Credit for Energy Efficient Residential Combined Heat Power System to Help Upstate New Yorkers Reduce Utility Costs By Up To $1,000 Per Year, Create Jobs

Micro-CHP Technology Reduces Fuel Use for Electricity Production, Resulting in Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressmen Brian Higgins, Michael Arcuri, and John McHugh introduced legislation today to create a tax credit for insulation of Combined Heat and Power (micro-CHP) systems in New York homes and businesses.  The Micro-CHP is a hybrid device that produces both electricity and heat for a home, as opposed to a traditional furnace or boiler that just supplies heat or hot water, reducing a cold-climate home's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25 percent and saving households up to $1000 a year. Micro-CHP systems are manufactured by ECR International in two New York facilities in Utica and Dunkirk. This tax credit will allow increased investment in the company and will create an estimated 50 jobs in 2009 alone and an additional 300 jobs in the next few years.

In an effort to create jobs and bring energy efficient, eco friendly heat and power to Upstate New York, Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressmen Michael Arcuri, Brian Higgins and John McHugh introduced legislation to create a tax credit to help homeowners pay for the Micro-CHP systems.  The legislation will give micro-CHP parity with solar, wind and other "green technologies."

"This is an opportunity to create jobs, save families money, and help the environment, all at the same time," said Senator Schumer. "This tax credit with allow ECR to grow, and spur job creation in Dunkirk and Utica for years to come."

"I am working hard to advance policies that will help promote growth and create jobs right here in New York," said Senator Gillibrand. "These investments not only create jobs, but will save consumers money on their energy costs and help our environment. Our Congressional Delegation is working together to ensure this project becomes a reality and production of this technology can begin as soon as possible."

"Earlier this year I had the opportunity to tour ECR's facility in Dunkirk and see first hand the great potential to create green manufacturing jobs right here in Western New York," said Congressman Higgins, a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, responsible for the development, oversight, and approval of federal renewable energy tax credits. "The credit proposed in this bill would create an incentive to encourage consumers to make an investment today in technology that would result in less energy consumption and lower energy bills tomorrow."

"I am proud to introduce this legislation that will help launch this locally-built energy saving technology into widespread use in the United States," said Congressman Arcuri, " These tax credits will help homeowners lower their energy bills and support good-paying local jobs - all while lessening our impact on the environment."

"This legislation has the potential to achieve two very important objectives: economic stimulus to our region through job creation and an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way for New Yorkers to power their homes.  Providing a tax credit for micro-CHP will allow the technology to grow and be put to use across our region," said Congressman McHugh.  "Additionally, use of this technology not only increases energy efficiency, but reduces sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and carbon dioxide emissions, all of which have had a negative impact on our region."

By relying less on electricity from power plants, a Micro-CHP system can significantly lower environmental impact and reduce the high costs of heating a home during the coldest months of the winter. Micro-CHP owners have experienced savings up to $1,000 a year.

The Freewatt Micro-CHP system is manufactured by ECR International, a leading manufacturer of hydronic and HVAC equipment. The system is labeled by the Environmental Protection Agency as a Climate Choice product identifying it as a cutting-edge technology that offers exceptional energy and carbon savings. EPA's Climate Choice program supports products that dramatically reduce energy use and carbon emissions. ECR plans to invest $12 million into their plants in Utica and Dunkirk, creating approximately 50 jobs in 2009 alone, and up to 300 jobs in the years to come.

Micro-CHP Technology Offers:

Improved Energy Efficiency

  • Utilizing micro-CHP can result in more than a 30% reduction in fuel required for residential electricity generation. The power produced by micro-CHP displaces electricity that would otherwise be purchased from the electric company, reducing a homeowner's annual electric consumption by about half.

A Better Environment

  • Compared to conventional grid supplied power, micro-CHP typically reduces CO2 emissions as well as SOx, NOx and particulates associated with global warming by 60% or more.
  • The recent Department of Energy CHP report Combined Heat and Power - Effective Energy Solutions for a Sustainable Future states that if 20% of US electricity production came from CHP, this "would be equivalent to the CO2 savings of taking 154 million cars off the road", (roughly half the fleet of cars on US roads).

Economic Growth

  • The Department of Energy states in their report that if CHP generated 20% of US energy needs by 2030, it would generate $234 billion in new investments and create almost 1 million new "highly skilled, technical jobs."

A More Independent & Secure Nation

  • Requiring less fuel to accomplish the very same result not only promotes energy efficiency, but also puts us on a path towards energy independence and increases our nations' energy security.
  • Residential CHP provides grid support and reliability to electric power systems that are already approaching peak capacity. During peak demand, localized neighborhoods are the first to lose power or experience a brown out. The utility has the option to bring in more power cables with the associated costs or encourage the installation of distributed generation, such as residential CHP.
  • Residential CHP can help electric utilities meet mandates requiring them to meet certain target reductions in emissions by certain dates.
  • Generating power close to the electric load reduces electricity losses associated with transmission over power lines