President Trump Signs COVID Relief Bill, Residential Components of BTU Act Included in Package

President Trump Signs COVID Relief Bill, Residential Components of BTU Act Included in Package

Seattle, WA– On Sunday, December 27 President Trump signed H.R. 133 the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 into law, one of the largest federal spending measures in United States history. Included in the bill are provisions of the Biomass Thermal Utilization Act (BTU Act), a tax provision long sought by advocates of modern wood heating including the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI).

“The inclusion of components of the BTU Act in the COVID relief bill is an incredible development for the wood heating industry, including the manufacturers of wood pellets and wood pellet burning appliances in this country,” said Tim Portz, executive director of the PFI. “Our road to the victory we experienced last week reaches back more than a decade. I am thrilled for our wood pellet manufacturers, appliance manufacturers and retailers who have worked for so long to bring this to fruition. It is very gratifying.”

While early versions of the BTU Act included incentives for both businesses and individuals, only the tax credits aimed at home heating and hot water systems were included in the bill. Beginning in 2021, a federal income tax credit of 26 percent of the installed cost of an appliance achieving at least 75% efficiency is available to consumers choosing these high-efficiency, modern wood heat systems. The available tax credit steps down to 22 percent in 2022 and 2023.

“There is no doubt that this tax credit will boost consumer interest in wood and wood pellet alternative home heating solutions,” said Adam Martin, owner and operator of Martin’s Sales and Service, a specialty hearth retailer and PFI member in Butler, Pennsylvania.  “I am excited about the increased momentum this will generate for our industry.”

The wood heat sector has been advocating for passage of the BTU Act since 2009, experiencing incremental advancements while building a coalition of support for the bill in Congress. Most recently, the PFI made the BTU Act its policy focus during a day of advocacy on Capitol Hill in October of 2019.

“During our Hill visits in the fall of 2019 we rallied the bill’s traditional supporters like Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Angus King (ME) and Representatives Peter Welch (VT) and Jared Golden (ME), while also working to broaden our coalition of support,” said Portz. “The PFI and our colleagues in the broader wood heat community have been working towards this day for years. Its very rewarding to see those efforts finally deliver a return.”

The challenge facing the industry and the PFI now is building consumer awareness in the available tax credit. “It is important to keep in mind that as an industry we can’t stop at this point,” said Martin. “Our trade organizations, retailers, and manufacturers all need to do their part to inform consumers of the tax credit available to them. Our continued efforts will benefit the entire industry for years to come.”

About the Pellet Fuels Institute

The Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) is a trade association representing the manufacturers of wood pellets in the United States and the companies and organizations that support them. The PFI is dedicated to raising awareness about the benefits of using wood pellets to heat homes, businesses and institutions and ensuring that consistent, high-quality product is readily available in the marketplace.

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