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Green Tax Incentives
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Green Tax Incentives
Note: The ARRA (Recovery Act) initiatives and/or programs referenced in this article will expire on September 30, 2010. Any statements about qualifying time periods, or extensions of these dates, as they pertain to the availability of ARRA programs are over-ridden by the expiration of the Act on September 30, 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 servic; 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 refuleing systems, up from $30,000
- A new 30% invenstment tax credit for establishing, re-equipping, or exapnding 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 do-t know where to begin?
You can initiate the switch to energy efficiency without a huge financial investment. Improving your facilit-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 ENERGYSTAR for small business program. From here you can download or receive a no-cost hard copy of their small business guide - network with other green businesses, and get expert advice from engineers, architects, and other service providers.
Looking for bigger savings?
Now that yo'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.go'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 yo've made significant upgrades. Consider evaluating your busines' recycling/waste reduction practices, conservation of water, air pollution prevention, even your use of paper.
Free Green Resources for Small Businesses
- ENERGYSTAR Small Business Program
- Business.go's Green Business Guide
- EPA Small Business Gateway