The New Green Economy
- Feb 10, 2009
>How can I not write about the economic recovery package? The talk of
Washington, DC, the economic recovery package is being closely followed by many
business leaders. USGBC has been
actively working to ensure that the economic recovery package moves the U.S.
toward the new green economy and related long-term economic and environmental
benefits. While the possibilities are many and the opportunities for the real
estate market are complex, there are a few key areas that our industry will
want to watch closely.
The Commercial Building Tax Deduction was established by the Energy
Policy Act of 2005 and permits building owners to deduct expenditures on energy-efficiency
improvements to commercial properties. Many real estate groups are actively
seeking the expansion of funding for this program and other tax incentives within
the economic recovery package.
Additionally, USGBC supports robust funding for the Energy Efficiency
and Conservation Block Grant program through the economic recovery package.
This program, which was created as part of the 2007 federal energy law, is set
up to provide billions of dollars for states, localities, and tribes for energy
efficiency and conservation projects. If funded, this program will empower
states and localities to develop and expand energy efficiency-related programs
and investments. Such funds could be leveraged to replicate successful
initiatives currently in place throughout the country, such as those offered by
state energy offices and public utilities.
Inevitably, funding for green building retrofits will come through many
sources and programs, but the directive is clear. In addition to creating
economic activity and providing our economy a much needed jumpstart, these
monies must contribute to a new green economy. It’s also critically important
that such funds be directed to retrofitting and upgrading existing buildings
owned by private companies, allowing the short- and long-term savings generated
by these improvements to strengthen bottom lines and ultimately be reinvested
in additional upgrades and environmental measures.
If you have any comments or ideas, you can reach Marc at