IEC Supports Extension of 179D Tax Credit

The Independent Electrical Contractors, the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), and dozens of other construction and real estate groups have signed a letter in support of Senate Bill 3591, the Commercial Building Modernization Act (CBMA), which extends and enhances the tax deduction at Section 179D of the Internal Revenue Code for energy efficient commercial and multifamily buildings. Buildings use more energy than any other sector of the U.S. economy and consume more than 70 percent of electricity in the country.

179D was one of several key tax incentives enacted over the last several years focused on encouraging businesses to incorporate energy efficiency into their operational plans. 179D in particular relates to the design and construction of energy-efficient commercial building property. Intended to offset some of the costs of qualifying energy-efficient improvements to commercial buildings, the deduction allows building owners to take an immediate expense for the cost of property that would normally be recovered through depreciation. To qualify, energy-efficient improvements must reduce total annual energy and power costs with respect to the interior lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water systems by 50 percent. Partial deductions are allowed.

179D expires at the end of 2013, but work on extending and improving this important deduction has already begun. Specifically, the CBMA improves Section 179D's effectiveness by making the tax incentive useable for a broader range of building owners, such as those owned by real estate investment trusts and certain LLPs. It also makes the incentive “performance based” and “technology neutral” mean that the greater the energy savings, the greater the deduction, and the incentive applies to projects not products, so owners and their contractors can decide among the best suite of efficiency measures that will achieve optimal energy performance in their assets rather than specifying particular equipment or products.

Published October 22, 2012 at:

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