Tax deduction policy called a boon to energy efficiency

Dec. 10, 2009
NEMA and the AIA have called on Congress to support the enlarging the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction.

Boosting the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction from $1.80/sq-ft to $3/sq-ft would help stimulate immediate job creation and energy efficiency.

So says NEMA and AIA which in 2005, advocated a tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot for the design and installation of qualified energy efficient building systems in new building construction or in the renovation of existing buildings. Although the deduction, which was enacted that year, has been successfully used to build and retrofit energy-efficient buildings, the current economic crisis has reduced the amount of building design, construction, and renovations nationwide. In addition, because some energy efficient systems are more expensive to design, build, and install than their less efficient counterparts, the initial increased capital costs often dissuade owners from installing these systems.

Says NEMA President and CEO Evan R. Gaddis, “This tax incentive has a proven record of success in supporting thousands of construction, electrical, design, contractor, and manufacturing jobs prior to the recession. An increase is needed to address tight capital and other financing issues facing building owners. This is the type of measure that fits with the outlines of President Obama’s jobs stimulus announcement on December 8, 2009,” Gaddis said.

AIA Executive Vice President/CEO Christine McEntee said, “By increasing the deduction to $3 per square foot, Congress could immediately stimulate building design, construction, and renovation across the country, spurring job creation in every state and region, while enhancing our energy independence and improving our nation’s infrastructure for the 21st century.”

A letter to Congressional members co-signed by more than 50 organizations in the construction and environmental arenas can be viewed at

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