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The Low-Down on Energy Tax Credits


Architect's comment: Once again good websites to visit to stay abreast of these policies.

 One of the boons of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 05) is a series of federal tax credits that could have far-reaching implications for both consumers and commercial businesses. Two specific groups spreading the word about these important energy efficiency tax incentives are the Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

TIAP web site : www.energytaxincentives.org
NEMA web site: www.nema.org

TIAP is a coalition of public interest groups, government agencies, and energy efficiency professionals whose goal is to insure the EPAct 2005 tax incentive guidelines and rules are issued and implemented by the IRS and DOE in both a timely and appropriate manner. Through an aggressive public outreach campaign targeted at both consumers and businesses, TIAP is getting the word out about the benefits of this new law and providing guidance to the DOE and IRS on specific aspects of the law. 

What are the benefits? Briefly, if you buy a hybrid vehicle, install solar panels, fuel cells or approved windows, insulation, furnaces and other energy-efficient equipment in your home, the government will allow you a tax credit for these improvements, subject to a cap. 

Businesses, manufacturers and commercial builders also enjoy several benefits under the new law. Similar to consumer incentives, the 2005 Energy Act specifies both tax credits and deductions for installing energy efficient equipment, renovating and retrofitting existing structures, as well as increasing production levels of energy-efficient appliances. For example, commercial building owners can deduct up to $1.80 per square foot if structures meet specific standards. 

NEMA, a leading electrical manufacturing trade organization, convened a coalition of over 40 organizations this October to promote, encourage and coordinate efforts to insure the industry makes the most of the EPAct 2005 provisions for businesses. This is a “good piece of legislation,” said NEMA president and CEO Evan Gaddis, a “win for everyone, the government, industry, and the public.”

The only obstacle now is getting the word out. “We’re going to do our level best to promote this program, encourage builders, architects, manufacturers, and others to take advantage of it, and work with government toward speedy, effective implementation of the law, “ noted NEMA’s Gaddis. Time, it seems, is of the essence. The tax incentives do not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2006, deep into the winter heating season, and are set to expire after only two years. One of the major efforts both TIAP and NEMA face is encouraging legislators to extend this deadline. 

Designer’s Comment: Follow up on deadline extension information

Lindsay Daniel provides residential design services to Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding communities.