The Economic Impact of Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives

June 14, 2017

BOMA is working with lawmakers to encourage the extension of the incentive and a revision of requirements to earn a tax deduction out of reach for many existing buildings.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) International, along with other real estate industry groups and with support from a grant from software developer Yardi, released a groundbreaking study on the costs and benefits of modernizing and extending the Energy Efficient Commercial Building Tax Deduction, commonly referred to as 179D after its U.S. Internal Revenue Code section number.

The study estimates that as many as 77,000 jobs will be created and $7.4 billion will be added annually to the national gross domestic product (GDP) if Congress passes a long-term extension and modification of 179D. 

Enacted in 2005, 179D allowed commercial building owners to offset some of the costs of energy efficiency retrofits. In the past decade, it became an effective tool for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment. 179D was the only federal incentive for commercial building owners to improve the energy efficiency of their properties.

Strengthening and modernizing Section 179D would come with huge benefits, according to the study, such as adding $5.7 billion in personal income for the first ten years after enactment. Also, it is estimated to lead to an average annual gain of 39,388 jobs, $3.7 billion in GDP and $3 billion in personal income for the first ten years after enactment. 

“This study confirms what we’ve already been seeing in the marketplace: 179D is good for the industry, the economy and the environment,” says BOMA International Chair Brian M. Harnetiaux, senior vice president of Asset Management at McCarthy Cook. “Section 179D has proven to be a valuable industry resource, and with an extension and some adjustments, it will continue to drive the commercial real estate industry forward.” 

You can read the study in its entirety on the BOMA International website.

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