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Renew 179D Tax Deduction, Says Energy Management Association

September 22, 2014 By Linda Hardesty

capitolRepresentatives Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02), along with 16 other members of Congress, introduced HR 5559, the Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Act of 2014. The bill would:

-Extend the Production Tax Credit for wind energy through 2016.

-Offer wind investors parity with solar investors, giving investors in each technology similar tax credits.

Meanwhile, the trade group Energy Management Association (EMA) submitted a letter to the Senate Finance Committee at its hearing entitled “Reforming America’s Outdated Energy Tax Code,” calling on Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to renew the 179D tax deduction that expired Jan. 1, 2014.

The Section 179D tax deduction assists building owners in recovering costs for high efficiency components and systems (such as windows, roofs, lighting, insulation, and HVAC) in commercial and larger multifamily buildings. It allows for up to $1.80 per square foot deduction for retrofit projects that result in a 50 percent reduction in total annual energy and power costs.

“Unfortunately, the uncertainty created by 179D’s expiration makes it very difficult to project total savings and the payback periods associated with various retrofit options. This creates an impediment to launching building energy retrofits at a time when utilities are confronted with capacity shortages and the nation is looking for ways to reduce carbon emissions,” said EMA President Andrew Heitman.

Lowell Ungar, senior policy advisor with the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, told Energy Manager Today that tax policies such as 179D probably will remain in “suspended animation” until after the elections in November.

Photo: US Capitol via Shutterstock

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