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Green Tax Incentives

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Green Tax Incentives

By NicoleD
Published: February 12, 2010

New Energy Efficiency Incentives
The newly-passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Economic Stimulus) includes new and extended energy efficiency incentives for consumers and small businesses. The 'placed in service” dates vary, so hold on to those receipts and energy rating stickers:

§ An extension of the commercial buildings tax deduction to the end of 2013
§ Expanded tax credits for electric vehicle purchases
§ $50,000 maximum credit for businesses installing most clean refueling systems, up from $30,000
§ A new 30% investment tax credit for establishing, re-equipping, or expanding select energy technology manufacturing facilities
§ A new tax credit for the purchase of small wind turbines (home, farm, or business use)

Want make energy efficient upgrades but don’t know where to begin?
You can initiate the switch to energy efficiency without a huge financial investment. Improving your facility’s current building shell (insulation, windows, etc), lighting, HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) systems, refrigeration, and office appliances are some low cost options.

Start by estimating your savings potential through an energy-saving calculator. You can also get free, unbiased information and technical support through the ENERGY STAR for small business program. From here you can download or receive a no-cost hard copy of their small business guide - “Putting Energy into Profits” - network with other green businesses, and get expert advice from engineers, architects, and other service providers.

Looking for bigger savings?
Now that you’ve made some low-cost upgrades, consider looking for larger upgrade opportunities based on your industry. Industry-specific resources for auto dealers, construction contractors, commercial food service (including grocery/convenience stores, restaurants, schools, and congregations, sports/entertainment centers), home-based businesses, lodging, retail, and small-to-medium sized manufacturers are available on Business.gov.Keep in mind, bigger energy savings will usually require a bigger investment. Luckily, there are lots of financing opportunities out there:
§ SBA offers several loan programs that can help offset the cost of purchasing energy efficient equipment and facilities for your business. One of the most common is the 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program, which offers eligible small businesses a loan to either purchase ENERGY STAR and other energy-efficient equipment, or retrofit an existing facility to increase efficiency.
§ There are tons of state, local, and regional programs with energy efficient assistance for small businesses. Besides their grant programs, many also offer free or low-cost assistance for auditing or implementing energy efficient technology.
§ The collective buying power of pooling businesses to group purchase energy efficient equipment can result in lower unit prices on volume orders. ENERGY STAR offers a helpful guide to group purchasing.
§ Business.gov’s Loans and Grants search tool can help you locate the environmental financing that your business is eligible for.
§ Additional resources for environmental loans, grants, and incentives.

Finished upgrading? Why stop there?
Your business can continue to implement
sustainable green business practices even after you’ve made significant upgrades. Consider evaluating your business’ recycling/waste reduction practices, conservation of water, air pollution prevention, even your use of paper.

Free Green Resources for Small Businesses

Message Edited by NicoleD on 04-14-2009 12:57 PM

About the Author:


Great post! We were extremly pleased to see incentives extended through 2013! Explaining how the tax credits work to customers can be a little complex, so we added a page to our site with a basic explanation, anything past that we ask that they refer to their accountant for details. Some of our customers believed that it was only a 30% write-off, when it's a straight deduction which is more valuable. The 30% tax credit extension includes some of the solar products our small business sells at outdoorsolarstore.com. Our most popular is the line of solar attic fans. If you have products that fall under this category, I highly recommend you highlight that beneift clearly, after we updated some of the graphics on our page highlighting this tax cut, our conversion rate more than doubled. ---This post was edited to remove a commercial link. Read our discussion policies for more Community best practices.

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