The Going Green movement has evolved into something more than reduce, reuse and recycle. Implementing environmental initiatives in your business can save money, increase efficiency, and may even qualify small business owners for tax credits.
There are many circumstances in business operations where business owners can make small changes that have a positive environmental impact. These changes range from switching the type of energy used to purchasing fuel-efficient company cars to changing certain elements of the building’s design. Tax credits are available for up to 30 percent of the cost of green additions/changes to a business, up to $1,500. Here are a few suggested opportunities business owners can implement and receive tax cuts for doing so:
Install renewable products:
- Natural gas or propane furnace
- Electric heat pump water heater
- Biomass stove
- Solar energy system
- Small wind energy system
Install energy efficient products:
- Energy Star labeled exterior windows and skylights
- Energy Star labeled storm windows
- Energy Star labeled exterior doors and storm doors
- Metal and reflective asphalt shingles for the roof
- Main air circulating fan
- Energy Star approved insulation
Purchase a fuel-efficient hybrid vehicle.
Hybrid vehicles include gasoline-electric, diesel, battery-electric, alternative fuel and fuel cell vehicles. Plug-in electric vehicles can also be included.
Make a change to a major system of the building.
A tax deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot is available to owners of new or existing commercial buildings that save at least 50 percent of the heating and cooling energy of a building. Partial deductions of up to $.60 per square foot can be taken for measures affecting one of three building systems: the building envelope, lighting, or heating and cooling systems.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy lists credits, rebates, grants and more ways to cut the cost of green power in specific states.
More information is also available at the US Government's Green Business Guide Web site.
For a detailed list of products accepted by Energy Star, visit the Energy Star Web site.