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Kohl Introduces Bill to Help Wisconsin Businesses Reduce Energy Costs

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

In conjunction with the President's visit to Wisconsin today, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl introduced a bill to extend the Section 48 Investment Tax Credit to solar light pipe technology. Light pipes collect natural light, and then through the use of sensor technology, automatically dim the other lights in a building -- thereby using less electricity for the same amount of light. Section 48 provides for a tax credit equal to 30 percent of the value to install different energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies including solar panels, fuel cells, and small wind properties.

"This is a promising new technology that could save Wisconsin businesses money on their electricity bills, reduce our overall energy usage, and create jobs -- three goals on which we can all agree," Kohl said. "Despite the clear benefits of the technology, cost has kept many businesses from using light pipes. Extending this investment tax credit to solar light pipe technology will provide that boost these businesses need to justify the expense. Last night the President called for an increase in our national use of clean energy technology. Products like these made in Wisconsin can go a long way toward achieving that goal."

The President is in Manitowoc today visiting Orion Energy Systems. This Wisconsin-based company has been a leader in producing solar light pipe technology and continues to grow even during this tough economic time. Orion technology has been deployed at more than 6,000 facilities, and has worked with 126 of the Fortune 500 companies. Since 2001, Orion customers have saved more than $1 billion in electricity costs by displacing nearly 600 megawatts. This tax credit will help Orion - and companies like it - create thousands of jobs through the installation and production of this technology.

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