On March 8, 2007, the Energy Efficiency Incentives Act of 2007 was introduced in both the US House of Representatives and the Senate; it is a provision to extend the energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction carried in EPAct 2005 to 2012, with an additional two years to build.

The extension notably increases the square-foot tax deduction for buildings with 50 percent whole-building energy cost savings from $1.80 to $2.25. It also raises from $.60 to $.75 the square foot tax reduction for single systems, such as lighting, HVAC and the building envelope, if savings meet the criteria set forth in the legislation.

“Tax incentives like these are crucial because they help building owners make the financial case to implement energy-efficiency upgrades,” said Kurt R. Padavano, chairman and chief elected officer, The Building Owners and Managers Association International.

Currently, tax incentives allow up to a $1.80-per-square-foot deduction for energy-efficient upgrades that exceed ASHRAE 90.1 (2001) by 50 percent. It also provides up to $0.60 per square foot of partial credit for each of the three subsystems that exceed ASHRAE 90.1 by 16.66 percent.

“The opportunity we have to save energy and make our buildings more intelligent and efficient is significant,” said Evan Gaddis, president of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). “There is no downside here. It’s a win for consumers, building owners, electrical manufacturers and the nation.”

It is important to remember the bill has merely been introduced, but check back on these pages in the coming months for more updates on the new extension. Until then, electrical contractors can continue to reap the benefits of the EPAct of 2005, which is prompting more facility owners to make the switch to energy-efficient products and systems.            EC