Green Building Incentives: Save Money AND Save the Planet

Making Your Business Eco-Friendly

Environmentally-friendly business owners shouldn’t have to take drastic measures to keep their companies green. While your employees are doubtlessly on board with your in-house recycling measures and community outreach programs, you can make your conservationist goals easier to fulfill by starting with your building. You may even get to do so without footing the bill on your own, because there are a number of great incentives for industrial firms that want to save the planet.

What Kinds of Green Building Programs Are There?

Various government agencies at the state and federal level facilitate incentives that include grants, tax rebates, investment financing and loans. A business’s eligibility for such programs is typically dependent on its ability to demonstrate its compliance with specific guidelines.

You may be qualified to participate in programs based on your expansion plans. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Grants are offered on a one-time or revolving loan basis to business enterprises that plan on remediating and reclaiming brownfield sites. The agency helps pay for assessment, cleanup and training, although you’ll be responsible for other activities and subsequent legal compliance.

Some incentive schemes are more geared towards material upgrades. Many small businesses that hope to switch to renewable energy systems, such as roof-mounted solar panels or wind turbines, apply for federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credits, or ITC.

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Determining and Maintaining Your Eligibility

This may all sound too good to be true, and while there isn’t really a catch, there are definitely terms and conditions to be aware of. For instance, the Energy Efficient Mortgages offered to residential property owners aren’t extended to business entities that want to finance similar improvements. Similarly, the ITC creditscent for solar power or wind turbines, geothermal systems are only eligible for 10 percent.
Luckily, there are so many different incentives that you can usually save a significant sum regardless what you plan on doing. It all boils down to understanding what your proposed renovations, upgrades or purchases qualify for.

When Should I Think About Grants?

Although anyone can peruse established resources like the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Energy, it’s easy to miss things in these huge lists, and you’ve got a business to run. It’s usually simplest to ask an inspector or contractor about what you need to do to comply with sustainable building guidelines.

You may even be eligible for a rebate based on your existing property’s construction materials, like roof layers. Having your industrial building inspected is a good way to find out what kinds of tax incentives you stand to benefit from, and it’s a smart move for protecting your property investment.

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