EPACT Rebate Could Still Be Available

US CapitolMany commercial building owners who bade a fond farewell to the energy efficiency tax break in Section 179D of the Energy Policy Act that expired with the New Year could still be able to take advantage of the program, according to Jamie Hahn, managing director of New Jersey-based Solis Partners.

The tax break offers up to $1.80 per square foot for energy efficiency improvements to the building envelope, lighting, and HVAC. And while the tax break cannot be applied to work done after Jan. 31, 2013, it can still be applied retroactively, Hahn told EnergyEfficiencyMarkets.com.

The act still applies for work carried out between Jan. 1, 2006 and Dec. 31, 2013 and many building owners may be sitting on an EPACT tax break that they never processed, Hahn says. The complexity of the tax code means that it makes it easy for owners to fail to apply for their full deduction.

The total possible $1.80 per square foot tax break can be dived into three 60 cents per square foot pots: one each for efficiency improvements in building envelope, lighting and HVAC. All are measured against a 2001 ASHRAE standard. However, certain buildings will be eligible for the entire $1.80 per square foot rebate by just reducing their lighting costs, others, for instance those with air conditioning, may not be able to reap the full rebate by simply improving just one of the categories, the website reports.

Plans on Capitol Hill are underway to introduce a modified version of the tax break for 2014, but whether or not the ongoing political gridlock will allow such developments remains to be seen, the website reports.

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