Making the case for a green investment is easier if there’s a timely return on investment. Choosing the right sustainable products plays a role in achieving a quick ROI; tax incentives and utility rebates are another important factor.
Available from state, local, and federal government agencies, as well as local utilities, these rebates and incentives can help lower the cost of energy-efficient investments, from purchasing green power to upgrading lighting, adding insulation, or investing in a cool roof.
Here are a few resources for up-to-date information on rebates and incentives, which may be available for commercial buildings in your area:
The Commercial Building Tax Deduction establishes a tax deduction for expenses incurred by a building owner for energy-efficient building measures. The deduction is limited to $1.80 per square foot, with allowances for partial deductions for improvements to interior lighting, HVAC, hot water, and building envelope systems. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extended the benefits of this deduction through Dec. 31, 2013.
DSIRE (the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) is a comprehensive resource of information on local, state, and federal policies, as well as utility rebates and incentive options, that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project from the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. Here, you’ll find an interactive map of the United States that allows you to select your building location to learn about state grant programs, tax incentives, loan programs, and rebate programs, along with offers from local utilities in that state. You can also find lists of federal programs. The programs, policies, and incentives on this site cover everything from green power to energy-efficient appliances. DSIRE is updated every time a new incentives or rebate is available.
This corporate tax credit offers credits of up to 30% for investments in solar, fuel cells and small wind power, and credits of up to 10% for geothermal, microturbines, and combined heat and power systems. The credits outlined through this resource are available for eligible systems placed into service on or before Dec. 31, 2016.
Your Local Utility’s Website
In most cases, your local utility will have information on rebates and incentives. Call or visit their websites to learn about ways you can save money when making green upgrades to commercial buildings. Available rebates and incentives are often outlined by product type, so you can quickly see if you’ll receive help when investing in a cool roof, a new VFD, or more efficient refrigeration equipment.
Are you taking advantage of utility rebates and tax incentives? Where do you find the most helpful information?