The Environmental Protection Agency has reported that commercial buildings account for nearly one-fifth of the entire amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere on an annual basis. There are a few different views on the role of the government in controlling or limiting the impact that commercial buildings have on the environment.
While some believe that the government should have an active role in this issue, setting severe limitations and putting fines and such other measures into effect, others believe that the federal government should take a less active and direct role in the issue and create incentives for those who go through measures to reduce their involvement in potential environmentally violating issues.
What Are Greenhouse Gases?
Greenhouse gases are gases that are released into the atmosphere and cause heat to be trapped toward the surface of the Earth. There is many a study out there that has attributed the use of coal, oil, and other fossil fuels to the increasing temperature of the surface of the earth that is attributed to the excess of greenhouse gases, but the lack of solid proof and assurance in this is what has caused speculation with this issue.
Some Greenhouse Gases are Vital
Of course, a certain level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is important, as that is what keeps the planet insulated from the effects of the sun or the freezing cold of the atmosphere but the increasing temperature of the earth is alarming scientists, and something must be done about it.
For this reason, there have been many tax credits for environmentally friendly projects and businesses both proposed and implemented. As a matter of fact, Congress has made environmental issues like climate change and the ever increasing level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere one of their top priorities, and even the Bush Administration has opted to take a more active role in the issue, opting to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by 30 percent in the next ten years. There is a great deal of support for those who are opting to use clean energy technologies and options, and one of these many types of support are tax incentives for those who operate environmentally friendly commercial buildings.
Federal Energy Efficiency Programs
EPA's Green Star Program
Programs like Energy Star and the Green Lights program by the Environmental Protection Agency are two of the more popular and well-known programs of this nature, allowing people to save money by installing more efficient lighting options as well as preventing the release of billions of tons of ecologically damaging greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
The Energy Star Program
The Energy Star program also provides for massive savings for any American consumer or commercial property owner. By making use of Energy Star lighting and other appliances, they are saving money on electricity as well as preserving fossil fuels and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the air. Many people have seen or purchased products with the energy star label on it; these are products that adhere to the Energy Star program standards, and are excellent ways of using electricity more efficiently.
There are many tax incentives in place currently for those who modify their properties to meet certain qualifications. Those who make modifications seeking approval or a certain status from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED may also qualify for awesome tax bonuses and incentives as well, especially those larger buildings that have more to offer by way of making environmentally friendly modifications to their buildings.
The Commercial Building Tax Deduction
There is also a tax credit, commonly called the Commercial Building Tax Deduction, that is limited to $1.80 per square foot for those who own or operate commercial buildings that adhere to certain standards (AHSRAE Standard 90.1) and save at least one half of the total energy required to heat or cool the building. There is an sixty cent per square foot tax credit also in place that rewards those commercial building owners who make improvements to their building or HVAC systems or other cooling or heating implements that improve the efficiency of the building as well.
As of right now, there has been no formal legislation implemented that forces commercial buildings to take the actions necessary to reduce their impact on the ever increasing temperature of the surface of the planet that is often attributed to greenhouse gas emissions. However, the reduction of environmental greenhouse gas emission problems is the single top priority of the United States legislature this year.
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