A building owner and management industry leader is urging Congress to restore a federal tax credit designed to help the owners of commercial buildings pay for energy efficiency measures.
The Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Credit, otherwise known by its Internal Revenue Service code number 179D, expired at the end of last year.
The deduction, first enacted in 2005, provides owners of commercial structures, including warehouses and garages, a credit of up to $1.80 per square foot for the upgrading of lighting, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Speaking before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee, Henry Chamberlain, president of the Building Owners and Management Associates, said 179D has helped “real estate owners who might not otherwise have the necessary capital make the decision to design, retrofit, and operate energy-efficient structures.”
Chamberlain additionally suggested not just bringing back 179D, but making it permanent, noting that earlier short-term extensions of the incentive were impractical.
Such extensions, Chamberlain continued, “don’t account for real estate planning horizons, which are generally three to five years for a capital investment.”
The committee is expected to take action on the energy efficiency tax credit later this year.
By Garry Boulard