Lugar Names SunRise Solar President Energy Patriot

Monday, March 5, 2007

U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar recently named Bill Keith, President of SunRise Solar Inc. in St. John, Indiana, as a Lugar Energy Patriot for his innovation of solar-powered attic fans. The award is part of an ongoing effort by Lugar to recognize members of the business community, professionals, scholars, or students who demonstrate leadership and initiative in taking concrete action to reduce America’s dependence on foreign energy sources.

“I am excited about Bill Keith’s achievements as an Indiana business leader who shares a vision of the many possibilities that renewable fuel resources offer our country. I especially admire Bill’s innovation in the solar energy market and the public awareness he brings to energy conservation through his solar-powered attic fans,” Lugar said.

“Bill Keith exemplifies the innovation and leadership essential to move our country in a new direction in providing and utilizing energy for the future,” Lugar continued.

The Sun Rise Solar’s line of attic fans generates their own electricity from sunlight. Solar panels collect energy directly from the sun to power the fan motor and pull out hot air. The cumulative effect removes heat and moisture, extends roof life and reduces energy consumption. The fan itself requires no outside power, and the cooler attic means lower cooling costs for the rest of the house.

SunRise Solar products have been featured in several national builder magazines and made headlines in the National Association of Homebuilders News. Most notably SunRise Solar products have received the following recognitions:

Building Products Magazine “Most Valuable Product” (2005 – Model 850).
Building Products Magazine “Most Valuable Product” (2006 – Model 1050).
Power Builder News Magazine “One of the best products of 2006.”
Along with advancing solar power, Bill Keith is committed to keeping his headquarters and production facilities in Indiana. The majority of its raw components come from within the state, and SunRise Solar assembles and ships its fans from Warsaw, Indiana.

Read Bill Keith’s Energy Patriot profile at

Lugar has also cosponsored legislation to extend tax credits that encourage investment and stimulate the expansion of solar energy. The Securing America’s Energy Independence Act, S. 590, would extend solar energy and fuel cell investment tax credits for homeowners and businesses through 2015. The credits, which were created by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, are currently set to expire in 2008.

Specifically, the bill extends through 2015 a 30 percent tax credit for purchase of residential solar water heating, photovoltaic (PV) equipment and fuel cell property. It changes the maximum credit to $1,500 for each half-kilowatt of capacity for solar PV equipment and $1,000 for each kilowatt of capacity for fuel cells.

The bill also extends through 2015 a 30 percent business credit for purchase of fuel cell power plants, solar energy property and fiber-optic property used to illuminate the inside of a structure. It changes the maximum business tax credit to $1,500 for each half-kilowatt of capacity for solar PV equipment. Additionally, the bill creates a three-year accelerated depreciation period for all solar equipment eligible for the business solar tax credit.

For more than a decade, Senator Lugar has stressed the strategic importance of energy security and the economic and security risks of dependence on oil. His legislative efforts promote sustainable energy production and use, incentives for renewable fuels like cellulosic ethanol and E-85, increased fuel economy in cars, and clean coal. The Lugar Energy Initiative at highlights not only the repercussions of America’s dangerous dependence on imported oil, but also provides information on energy legislation introduced by Senator Lugar, commentary by outside experts and information on alternative and renewable energy sources.

Recent Lugar Energy Patriots include: Nancy Ho, Ph.D, Molecular Biologist, Purdue University’s Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering; Mike Hudson, CEO I-Power; Charlie Smith, CEO Countrymark Co-op; and Kellie Walsh, Executive Director, Central Indiana Clean Cities Alliance.