The latest developments concerning the extension of EPAct 179D came in the spring months of 2014 but many interest groups and companies dealing with energy efficient projects have started lobbying for prolonged financial incentives.
The energy efficient commercial building tax deduction, which is known as section 179D, expired on December 31, 2013. In April 2014, the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve a two-year extension under the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency act or EXPIRE. When it comes to Senate approval, however, there has been no progress made.
The act is currently being examined by US Senate. The Senate failed to pass the act in May since all republicans voted against the development.
Section 179D was originally introduced in 2005. Deduction incentives of up to 1.8 dollars per square foot of affected space were available for all qualifying commercial building energy efficiency improvements. Some of these improvements included lighting systems, HVAC and building envelope.
The provision was extended once already in 2008 but currently, EXPIRE is at a standstill and there’s no information whether the planned two-year extension is going to come into effect.
Lobbying for the Extension
Numerous renewable energy groups have lobbied vigorously for EPAct 179D to be extended by Senate. The American Wind Energy Association has been quite vocal in its support of EXPIRE.
According to energy efficiency and alternative energy organization, numerous workplaces are jeopardized by the Senate’s failure to extend the tax deduction.
The Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO) has been another avid supported of EPAct 179Ds extension. According to GEO representatives, businesses will now have to deal with expenses of up to 500,000 dollars for geothermal installations. Section 179D previously reduced the cost of such installations by as much as 50 percent.
The Industry Remains Optimistic
Numerous industry representatives remain optimistic that Senate is going to make the decision about the extension of the tax provision.
The robust backing of the business sector and the intensified efforts of lobbying groups are sooner or later expected to impact decision makers and produce some extension, even if the provisions of EPAct 179D happen to be modified.
Other Energy Incentives
Commercial building project executors can still look for other incentives and financial stimuli for the execution of energy efficiency projects. While the fate of EPAct 179D remains unknown, various other projects and programs can be relied on.
Both state and local programs are available for entrepreneurs interested in green developments. Businesses making energy efficiency improvements are entitled to grants and governmental incentives. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website has an extensive list of funding opportunities and the application requirements for each.
Officials and decision makers are putting more and more emphasis on green developments and the reliance on alternative energy systems for electricity production. Under such circumstances, the extension of tax stimuli sounds logical. EXPIRE’s fate is still unclear but businesses have options to choose among. Though applying for financial assistance may be a lengthy process, it will deliver sufficient benefits that will justify the time and effort.
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