Business owners understand that energy costs are often one of the largest, if not the largest, expenses in any business. Focusing on energy efficiency and environmental sustainability can not only improve your physical business environment, but also reduce energy costs and increase your bottom line. Many business owners experience improved cash flow by making energy efficient improvements, which can then be reinvested to grow their businesses.
For businesses that consider saving energy, the importance of incentives and savings quickly becomes clear. Reducing the costs of converting from current technology to greener, more cost effective energy solutions may sound like a daunting task, but with the right resources can be a straightforward process.
Going Green Resources
There are a large variety of organizations to help guide and support your business into becoming more energy efficient. They can start with energy audits to help you understand the changes that can make the biggest impact in your energy usage, to incentives to reduce the costs of converting your business to becoming environmentally sustainable.
U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)
The USGBC helps make conversion easy by helping businesses locate incentives and identifying a step-by-step process to becoming more sustainable. Starting with a free assessment they help walk you through the process of achieving the greatest savings of water and waste.
NV Energy Commercial Services
The commercial services division of NV Energy offer free energy audits for businesses and for businesses that qualify they also have cash incentives and technical assistance to help commercial customers convert to energy efficient systems, helping them save on energy bills.
Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy
Through its Performance Contracting Audit Assistance Program, the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy offers building owners tax incentives to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings through its Green Building Tax Abatements Program. This program uses the criteria established by the USGBC for its “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) certification, and by the Green Building Initiative in its Green Globes online rating system.
The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH) passed in December 2015 extended the federal section 179D tax break for the 2015 and 2016 tax years. For commercial building owners and tenants who make qualified energy efficient improvements a deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot may apply. The PATH Act also extended the New Energy Efficient Home Tax Credit through this year. This break provides eligible contractors with a $2,000 tax credit for each dwelling unit constructed or rehabilitated to energy efficient standards. There are requirements that must be met to be eligible, such as energy savings being certified before either tax break can be taken. To determine your specific qualifications, we suggest consulting a CPA or tax attorney.
More Ways to Go Green
Nevada is leading the way to go green and with so many options available, we hope to decrease our carbon footprint and increase our efficiency even more over the next few years. Currently, Nevada is ranked sixth in the nation by USGBC ranking of states that develop LEED certified buildings. In 2015, there were 30 projects in Nevada representing over 6.5 million square feet of green buildings.
Lowering energy costs and optimizing resource efficiency is smart business. It allows businesses to stretch their dollars, which increases profitability, but also helps increase quality of life, and save limited resources.
One way to get started is to join the Battle of the Buildings.