Funding Your Sustainability Initiatives
Even the best-laid plans to implement sustainable practices are doomed to fail if you can’t secure funding for them. They should save money in the long run, but greater emphasis on recycling, alternate energy sources and eco-friendly cleaning procedures always require upfront investment.
Fortunately, there are a variety of options for funding your sustainability initiatives – you just have to know where to look! From government incentives and tax credits to long-term payment contracts, there are several ways to invest your eventual savings in the here and now. Here are four options to consider.
1. Federal Tax Credits
You can already deduct your expenses on sustainable equipment and cleaning products, and tax credits provide an even bigger bottom-line boost. One of the most helpful credits is the federal government’s deduction for energy-efficient fixtures in commercial buildings, which appears on the new section 179D of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Per the US Small Business Association (SBA), the provision allows a deduction to a taxpayer who owns or is a lessee of a commercial building and install property as part of the commercial building’s interior lighting systems, heating, cooling, ventilation and hot water systems, or building envelope. Certification must be obtained to verify that the property installed satisfies energy efficiency requirements.
The SBA offers a similar incentive for the use of hybrid, electric and other alternative fuel vehicles.
In addition to credits and deductions, some jurisdictions offer rebates for energy efficient business purchases. There are currently no federal rebates for these purchases, but state governments, local governments and public utilities are offering them. Some manufacturers also offer special deals and financing to make their most energy-efficient products more affordable. You can search for rebates on energy.gov and manufacturer incentives from ENERGY STAR.
3. State Government Incentives
Likewise, you can search for state government incentives on the US Department of Energy’s database. Some public utilities offer free or low-cost energy audits, which will allow you to identify which improvements will be most cost-effective and impactful.
4. Funding for Energy Efficiency Projects
Finally, some energy companies provide unique funding options for energy-efficient projects – offers that benefit both the user and provider. Constellation offers a number of options, including:
- Power Purchase Agreements. PPAs are perfect for businesses that want the benefits of solar without the infrastructure costs. We build on-site solar panels at their facilities, and they enter into purchase agreements with rates locked in for roughly 20 years.
- Efficiency Made Easy. Instead of paying directly for energy conservation, your efficiency savings are factored into the price you pay per kilowatt hour.
- Performance Contracting. A popular choice among state and local governments, performance contracting allows customers to fund building improvements without capital investments. Instead, projects are supported by guaranteed energy savings over time.
- Design and Build. For companies that can immediately fund energy-efficient projects, the design and build option offers expertise and guidance.
Constellation has helped hundreds of organizations increase profitability and budget control and achieve greater energy efficiency. To learn more, contact us today.
Published: February 3, 2016