Held on November 2nd, a national call-in briefing provided information on the new Clean Renewable Energy Bond (CREB) program that was included in the recently enacted Federal energy bill. The program allows eligible nonprofit entities to issue bonds to finance renewable energy projects.
The call-in was hosted by the Environmental Law and Policy Center of the Midwest (Chicago). The briefing drew more than 200 attendees, indicating the enormous interest in the program. The CREB program allows municipally and cooperatively-owned utilities and other nonprofit entities to issue “no interest” bonds to finance renewable energy projects. Purchasers of the bonds are then eligible for federal tax credits rather than interest payments.
The program was deemed necessary because traditional renewable energy production tax incentives do not work for not-for-profit entities, as they have no federally taxable income to offset. Nonprofit revenues above cost of service are returned to customers, used to reduce rates or are reinvested in infrastructure improvements rather than paid to shareholders.
The CREB program authorizes up to $800 million in bonds to be issued over the next couple of years once the regulations are finalized. During the call, the speakers shed light on the purpose of the bonds, how the bonds are to be issued, who will purchase them and other topics. Some key points made by the various speakers on the call:
- Audio Archive of Clean Renewable Energy Bonds Teleconference Briefing (MP3 format) – held Wednesday, November 2,2005