Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

When President Bush signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, which you may know as the 'bailout bill," new incentives went into effect that may advance green buildings and renewable energy that will ultimately help move the economy in a better direction. Thanks to Paul Jones, Jr., a green tax attorney and Co-Founder of INSA at Ice Miller, LLC for providing the basis for my summary. Any editing errors are my own.

I will give you a brief list of the incentives in this post. For the full text of the bill, go to the Thomas Register (H.R. 1424) and download the PDF file.

  • one-year extension of the production tax credit for energy from wind and a two-year extension of the credit for energy production from other renewable sources
  • new clean energy renewable bonds (CREBs) to finance facilities that generate electricity from wind, closed-loop biomass, open-loop biomass, geothermal, small irrigation, qualified hydropower, landfill gas, marine renewable and trash combustion facilities
  • allows employers to provide employees who commute to work by bicycle limited fringe benefits to offset the costs of such commuting (e.g. bike storage, shower rooms)
  • qualified energy conservation bonds to finance state and local government initiatives designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • eight-year extension of the tax credits for residential solar projects, including removal of the $2,000 credit cap on investments in residential solar electric installations and the inclusion of small wind energy (credit cap of $4,000) and geothermal heat pump projects (credit cap of $2,000) as qualifying installations for tax credits
  • long term extension of the 30% investment tax credit for solar energy property and qualified fuel cell property, as well as a 10% tax credit for microturbines
  • five-year extension of the tax deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings (up to $1.80 per square foot)
  • one-year extension of the tax credit for the construction of new energy-efficient homes
  • one-year extension of the tax credit for qualified energy-efficiency upgrades to existing homes
  • an extension through 2010 of the tax credit for the manufacture of energy-efficiency appliances
  • three-year extension of the authority for state and localities to issue tax-exempt bonds for green building and sustainable design projects
In addition to these Federal incentives, you may have access to other incentives from your utility, your city or your state. You can check that out at this national incentive database.

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