Roger Langer of Langer Electric Service Co., Miami, has been thinking green for years, and its about more than just money. Langer has been thinking about the environment ever since his company started working on green buildings in his area a few years ago.

“We have green construction going up all over Florida,” Langer said. “Green buildings help reduce our energy needs, and they make economical sense.”

With energy prices at historic highs, green building seems to be more than just a temporary fad.

“Having worked on green buildings, I know they inspire innovation, which creates more business,” Langer said.

Everyone is thinking green these days with high energy prices, growing concerns about global climate change and leaving an environmental footprint. And those in Washington, D.C., are keeping a finger to the wind on the issue as well.

There are at least five bills to watch on green buildings before the House and Senate this year that would give or extend tax breaks to those wanting to build more energy-efficient structures.

H.R. 539, the Buildings for the 21st Century Act sponsored by Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Penn.), and H.R. 1385, the Extend the Energy Efficiency Incentives Act of 2007 sponsored by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), would both amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to create incentives for businesses to go green.

The Senate has three pieces of legislation that, if passed, would enact similar tax reductions and incentives as the house bills. Those bills are S. 822, S. 1207 and S. 1115, sponsored by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) respectively.

“These pieces of legislation would create more work for electrical contractors,” said Bob White, executive director of Government Affairs for the National Electrical Contractors Association. “If these became law, contractors would see substantial growth in this market across the board as building owners would have an increased incentive to invest in more energy-efficient buildings.”

Langer is looking forward to the bids he will put in on the new construction projects in his area.

“With all the work we’re seeing in green building, we help save the planet and produce many more jobs in the world,” he said. “That is what green buildings do. The future is green, in more ways than one.”      EC