October 15, 2009

Tax Credits for Going Green


Hostway Team

By Winmark Business Solutions

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.

About the Author

Winmark Business Solutions (WBS) is a free Web site for small businesses and entrepreneurs containing over 6,000 pages of business-critical information and downloadable tools at www.WBSonline.com. WBS is a division of Winmark Corporation, a multi-brand franchisor with nearly 900 franchise locations in North America. With over 25 years working with small businesses, WBS draws upon years of experience to bring important small business articles, information, tools, forms, checklists, calculators and downloadable forms to the small business owner to help their business grow. WBS contains over 6000 pages of business-critical information all available at www.WBSonline.com.

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