From savings realized over time to more efficient use of resources, there are many long-term advantages to “going green” in some aspect of your commercial building.
Sometimes the up-front costs deter businesses from, for example, installing solar panels or lighting fixtures that are more energy efficient. Here are a few financial incentives that can cushion the blow of your initial green investment.
In our Nov. 9 blog post, we mentioned that businesses can deduct up to $1.80 per square foot of space in new or existing buildings where they install energy-efficient interior lighting, HVAC or hot water systems.
According to DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency), businesses can receive up to a 30 percent tax credit on the cost of implementing solar, fuel cell or small wind technology and up to a 10 percent tax credit for geothermal. This is a federal incentive known as the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Community and Economic Development has several grant and loan programs underway after the state passed a broad $650 million alternative energy bill in 2008.
One example is the High Performance Building Incentives Program, which provides up to $2 million in loans/loan guarantees or $500,000 in grants. The funds can be used for costs such as:
- Acquiring land and buildings, rights-of-way, and easements necessary for project construction
- Clearing and preparation of land to build an eligible project
- Construction or renovation of a high performance building
- Project planning, design, and modeling work
And in addition to federal and state incentives, check with your utility companies to see if they offer any incentives. For example, PECO has the Commercial/Industrial Direct Load Control Program. Participants receive on-going financial incentives for implementing central air conditioners that are remotely controlled during periods of high peak demand or supply-side constraints.
Have you taken advantage of these or similar green building programs? What savings did you achieve?