Energy-Efficient Buildings Legislation Introduced

08/10/2006 |

Bills encourage energy efficiency in commercial building construction projects

Three new bills have been introduced in the House and Senate, aimed at encouraging energy efficiency in new construction and major renovations of commercial buildings.

S. 3628, the EXTEND the Energy Efficiency Incentives Act of 2006, would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to improve and extend certain energy-related tax provisions. The legislation was introduced on June 29 by Senators Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and John Kerry (D-MA). The bill would increase and extend the tax deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings that was included in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which Washington, D.C.-based BOMA Intl. actively supports. More specifically, it would increase the maximum amount of the deduction from $1.80 per square foot to $2.25 per square foot for new construction projects. For renovation projects, it would increase the deduction for each of the three subsystems (lighting, envelope, and HVAC and hot-water systems) from $0.60 to $0.75 per square foot. The program is now set to expire at the end of 2007, and this legislation would extend it through 2011, with some additional time for projects with particularly long lead times.

H.R. 5809, the Energy Efficient Buildings Act of 2006, was introduced on July 17 by Representatives Melissa Hart (R-PA) and Brian Baird (D-WA). Similar to S. 3628, it would increase and extend the energy-efficient commercial buildings tax deduction. However, the Senate bill’s proposed extension is longer than the House bill, and the Senate bill also addresses incentives for noncommercial property which the House bill omitted.

H.R. 5633, also called the Energy Efficient Buildings Act of 2006, was introduced by Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL) on June 16. The bill would make available $10 million per year in fiscal years 2008-2012 for buildings that best employ and demonstrate the likelihood to reduce energy consumption by at least 25 percent for new construction in comparison to the energy standard set by ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 or 20 percent for major renovations compared to energy consumption before renovations are begun. Grants would be available for up to 50 percent of design and modeling costs, not to exceed $50,000 per building. Preference will be given to projects that “are least likely to be realized without federal assistance.”

This information was reprinted from the Aug. 3 edition of BOMA Currents with permission from the Building Owners and Managers Association Intl. (BOMA). The Washington, D.C.-based organization comprises more than 90 local associations throughout the United States and 10 overseas affiliates. For nearly a century, it has focused on actively and responsibly representing and promoting the interests of the commercial real estate industry through effective leadership and advocacy; through the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information; and through professional development. For more information, visit (

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