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Issues & AdvocacyCommercial Buildings Tax Deduction

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Increase Financing for Energy Efficient Buildings



AIA Position

The AIA believes that governmental policies, programs, and incentives should encourage energy efficiency, especially as it relates to the built environment.


The federal government has the ability to encourage energy-efficient practices in the private sector. Congress demonstrated this in 2005 by approving a tax deduction for energy efficient commercial buildings within the Energy Policy Act (P.L. 109-58). This provision allows for building owners to claim a tax deduction of $1.80 per sq. ft. of building area to install systems that reduce the total energy and power costs by 50 percent or more when compared with a reference building. The deduction applies to nearly all commercial, high-rise multifamily residential, health care, institutional, public, and educational facilities.

Moreover, this deduction contains a provision that allows public building owners to allocate the deduction to the designer of energy efficient property. This allows the designer to take advantage of all resources necessary to design the most energy efficient property possible, while giving the building owner a tool for financing.

At a time when the design and construction industry is lacking necessary financing, providing incentives for energy-efficient design and construction is an effective strategy to encourage building owners to undertake renovations, leading to job creation across the industry. And as energy-efficient buildings cost less to operate, use less energy, reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, improve comfort, and protect the energy security of our nation, enlarging the deduction will promote job growth while also supporting key national ideals. Increasing this tax deduction to $3.00/ sf will send a message that Congress is committed to invigorating the design and construction industry through incentives for energy-efficient design and construction.

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AIA 179D resource page


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