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August 29, 2013 -
Today's tip of the day is about the expire EPAct tax deductions.
A recent issue of Time magazine included an interesting column by Michael Grunwald about President Obama's credentials as a "green president." Grunwald argued that Obama has "probably done more to reduce emissions than anyone else in history," contrary to what both environmentalists on the left (who don't think he's done enough) or climate deniers on the right (who think he's done way too much) may believe. And that's mainly because "the climate debate...has been oddly detached from facts."
But last month, when President Obama gave the first major climate speech of his administration, there was no doubt he was finally putting climate change and emissions reduction at the forefront of his policy goals. This article from Eco-Structure magazine spells out the president's proposal — his National Climate Action Plan.
Building owners and facility managers may have heard the speech and read over the plan, and been excited from a philosophical standpoint, but disappointed from a practical one. There's no mention of further incentives for building efficiency (outside of the plan to expand the Better Buildings Challenge to multi-family), and no promise to ensure the extension of the 179D tax deductions for building efficiency measures. Those deductions are scheduled to expire at the end of this year.
While there was a proposal in the Senate last year to extend and expand the deductions, it didn't make it to a vote. As we all know, buildings are responsible for the lion's share of US emissions, so continuing to incentivize energy efficiency could be a major spoke in the wheel of climate change action.
We'll all have to stay tuned. In the meantime, if you're interested in letting your Senators know that you support an extension of the deduction, here is a sample letter from our good friends at Energy Tax Savers.