How Can Your Small Business Take Advantage of the Tax Incentives in the Stimulus Package for Efficiency Upgrades?

You gotta spend money to save money. For energy efficiency upgrades, that saying couldn’t be more timely or accurate.

Energy efficiency programs and rebates are getting a real shot in the arm from, among other things, the stimulus package, plus many other federal, state, and local programs. As a result of the stimulus package, energy efficiency tax credits have been raised from 10% of cost to 30%. The maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1500, and more expensive upgrades, such as solar panels, solar water heaters, and geothermal pumps are not limited to the $1,500 maximum. The $200 tax credit cap on efficient windows has been removed, however, the standards are also more stringent. All of this means that there has never been a better time, financially, to upgrade, insulate, and/or weatherize your buildings. These investments should pay for themselves relatively quickly, given the incentives and the energy savings, and provide long term savings in addition to good PR for your company.

The Small Business Association also has a guaranteed loan program for construction and renovation including Energy Star appliances and upgrades. The 7a Loan Guaranty Program, has a high degree of flexibility in what you are able to use the money for, including energy efficiency, retrofitting, and new Energy Star upgrades.

Scott Cooney is the author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and hopes that someday the green economy will simply be referred to as…the economy.

Photo credit: BrentDanley on Flickr Creative Commons

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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on