Celebrating Earth Day 2023 With Energy Tax Incentives for Sustainable Living


Earth Day is a reminder of the importance of environmental awareness and sustainable living. Energy tax incentives, such as the 45L credit and 179D deduction, are crucial in promoting eco-friendly construction and building improvements. In this blog post, we'll discuss the impact these incentives have on reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions for a more sustainable world.

Background on Energy Tax Incentives

Energy tax incentives in the United States date back to the 1970s, when the oil crisis led the government to implement policies that encouraged energy conservation and renewable energy development. These incentives have evolved over time to promote sustainable development and energy efficiency across various sectors, including residential and commercial construction.

earth day 2023 Illustration

Energy Tax Deduction 179D: Incentivizing Eco-Friendly Commercial Buildings

The 179D tax deduction, established by the Energy Policy Act of 2005, incentivizes energy-efficient commercial buildings and residential buildings that are four stories or taller. Building owners or designers can claim deductions for installing energy-efficient systems, such as HVAC, lighting and building envelope components. The deduction amount depends on the energy efficiency achieved and can be increased by following optional labor guidelines, with a maximum deduction of $5 per square foot.

Eligibility for the 179D tax deduction requires implementing energy-efficient upgrades in commercial buildings, such as:

  • High-performance HVAC systems
  • Energy-efficient lighting fixtures
  • Improved building envelope components

To claim the deduction, building owners or designers must obtain certification from a qualified third-party verifying the energy-efficient improvements meet the required standards.

The 179D tax deduction significantly impacts energy consumption and carbon emissions in the commercial sector. By incentivizing energy-efficient upgrades, the deduction encourages sustainable building practices, reducing the commercial sector's carbon footprint.

Energy Tax Credit 45L: Encouraging Energy-Efficient Homes

Established in 2005, the 45L tax credit encourages energy-efficient residential construction. Eligible contractors, such as developers and builders, can receive significant tax credits for constructing or substantially renovating single-family and multi-family residential dwellings meeting specific energy efficiency requirements.

To qualify for the 45L tax credit, residential buildings must meet certain energy standards:

  • Pre-2023 properties must consume 50% less heating and cooling energy than a comparable structure built according to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) standard.
  • Properties completed in 2023 and later must meet the ENERGY STAR certification with additional potential benefits if also meeting the Zero Energy Ready Home (ZERH) energy-saving requirements.

The 45L tax credit promotes the construction of energy-efficient homes to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions in the residential sector. By offering financial incentives to developers and builders, the 45L credit encourages sustainable construction practices and green technologies, contributing to a more environmentally friendly housing market.

The Synergy of 179D and 45L: Fostering a Greener Built Environment

The combination of the 179D tax deduction and the 45L tax credit has a synergistic effect on promoting a greener built environment. By targeting both commercial and residential sectors, these incentives stimulate the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and sustainable design practices across a wide range of building types. This not only results in reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions but also leads to long-term cost savings for building owners, tenants and homeowners.

One notable example of this synergy can be observed in mixed-use developments, which combine commercial and residential spaces. Developers can leverage both the 179D tax deduction and the 45L tax credit to optimize energy efficiency in both the commercial and residential components of their projects. As a result, these mixed-use developments not only provide a sustainable living and working environment but also contribute to the overall reduction of the urban carbon footprint.

The Role of ETS in Maximizing Energy Tax Incentives

At Engineered Tax Services (ETS), we are dedicated to helping our clients maximize the benefits of energy tax incentives such as the 179D deduction and the 45L credit. Our team of experts, including engineers and tax specialists, work closely with clients to assess their projects, identify potential energy-efficient upgrades and ensure compliance with all eligibility requirements.

ETS provides comprehensive energy analyses and certification services, enabling clients to claim the 45L tax credit and the 179D tax deduction with confidence. Our in-depth knowledge of the energy tax incentive landscape, coupled with our expertise in sustainable building practices, allows us to offer unparalleled support to developers, builders and building owners in their pursuit of greener, more sustainable projects.


As we celebrate Earth Day of 2023, it’s important to recognize the critical role that energy tax incentives play in promoting a more sustainable future. These incentives encourage the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and sustainable design practices, leading to reduced energy consumption, lower carbon emissions and a greener built environment.

At ETS, we are committed to supporting our clients in maximizing the benefits of these valuable incentives, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable world for future generations. Contact us today to learn more about how you can benefit from energy tax incentives.

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