Benson, Eustace & DeAngelo Bill to Provide Tax Credit for Use of Smart Thermostats Clears Assemb
(TRENTON) - The Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee approved legislation on Thursday sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Tim Eustace and Wayne DeAngelo to provide gross income tax credit for purchasing and installation costs of smart thermostats. The bill (A-4740) would provide a gross income tax credit of 50 percent of the cost of purchase and installation of a smart thermostat in a residential property, not to exceed $250. The tax credit would be funded through the societal benefits charge, commonly referred to as the "Clean Energy Fund." "We have all forgotten to turn down the thermostat at one time and wished we had a remote device to adjust it while away," said Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex). "Smart thermostats are brilliant new remote feature that allows families to conserve energy and save on their electric bill. This tax incentive is another way the state can help to foster energy conservation and responsible energy usage in homes throughout the state." "Smart thermostats are a good investment for families who want to save money on heating and cooling costs," said Eustace (D-Bergen, Passaic). "Many residents are investing in these devices. A gross income tax credit will support these investments and, potentially, encourage more residents to look into smart thermostats for their home." "Smart thermostats provide a more efficient way to control the thermostat in your home which could save New Jersey families money in the long run," said De Angelo (D-Mercer, Middlesex). "This legislation rewards residents' efforts to conserve energy in their homes." The bill defines "smart thermostat" as a thermostat with a wireless Internet connection, which may be used alone or as part of a larger home automation platform. The bill directs the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to adopt rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of the bill, including energy efficiency standards to which a smart thermostat must conform to qualify for the tax credit. In order to receive the tax credit created by this bill, an applicant would be required to receive certification form the BPU in accordance with standards to be established by the BPU, the BPU would have 90 days to review it and issue a certification , as appropriate. The tax credit is refundable is the amount of the credit exceeds the taxpayer's liability for the taxable year. The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.