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IRS Revenue Procedure 2011-14 Energy efficiency and claiming the 179D deduction

The 179D tax deduction came about as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). Congress wanted to incentivize the utilization of energy-efficiency components in a building to one of the following parties:

1.The owner of the building
2.The tenant
3.The primary designer of an energy-efficient government building. (Architect, engineer, contractor etc.)

The deduction available is up to $.60 per sq./ft. for lighting, HVAC and building envelope, creating potential for $1.80 per sq./ft. if all three components qualify. These deductions are applicable to buildings that were either built or retrofitted after 12/31/2005.

Since EPAct came into effect, the IRS has provided interim guidance on EPAct deductions through several additional notices. IRS Notice 2006-52 describes in detail the rules and how to ensure a building qualifies if it was a new build or a retrofit. It requires the taxpayer to obtain certification that the property satisfies the energy efficiency requirements of 179D and specifies the software that must be used to calculate energy and power consumption. To further the cause, the IRS issued Notice 2008-40, which allowed a government building (non-taxpaying entity) to pass the deduction to the “primary designer” of the qualifying assets.

Until recently, taxpayers looking to claim the 179D deduction were limited by the three year statute of limitations for filing amended income tax returns for a particular tax year. That has changed with the issuance of Revenue Procedure 2011-14, which will allow some taxpayers to bypass this statute of limitations and claim this deduction all the way back to 1/1/2006 without filing one single amended income tax return. Taxpayers who wish to take the deduction without amending any returns will file a Form 3115 (Application for Change in Accounting Method) and will get to take the entire “catch up” deduction on the return that is being filed. This means that a taxpayer could potentially claim deductions from 2006-2010 (or 2011) all on one return and significantly reduce their tax burden, if not eliminate it altogether.

Deciding whether or not to amend returns or file for a Change in Accounting Method (Form 3115) is entirely dependent upon each taxpayers situation. If taxable income was higher in open years and therefore the taxpayer was in a higher tax bracket, it still may make sense to amend those returns. The impact of Revenue Procedure 2011-14 will also depend on whether or not any deductions have already been claimed or returns have been amended. A thorough analysis of each taxpayers scenario by an advisor experienced in 179D is advantageous to determining the best approach and claiming the maximum deduction allowed under the law.

Smart Buildings – More Than Just Energy Efficiency

The smartest people in the commercial real estate industry agree–if we really got energy efficiency in buildings right using smart building technologies, corporations could save so much money that there would be little need for solar panels or windmills. While most experts are still strong supporters of these alternative energy sources, they agree that extreme energy efficiency measures could have very dramatic positive results.

On the other hand, there are an increasing number of people who are growing disenchanted with the energy efficiency movement. It is not that they are against the idea, it just seems like it is an “all or nothing” proposition, and one of the major aspects of smart building technologies is the impact they can have on OPERATIONS and TENANT SAFETY/SATISFACTION as well as energy efficiency–which solar panels and windmills don’t offer.
In our world of buildings, a world that impacts us every time we enter an office, mall, school or sporting venue, and an environment that requires a great degree of operational support, why totally ignore the operational benefits, financial and human productivity possibilities, and tenant safety/satisfaction potential of intelligent, connected, high performance smart buildings?

This new generation of smart buildings, in which an IT infrastructure is laid on top of a building and every electro-mechanical device is IP enabled and connected with the ability to send data and be controlled, can provide energy savings and a WHOLE LOT MORE. The concept of centralized portfolio control with dramatically reengineered workflow, combined with advanced data analytics and visualization, could have an equal (if not greater) impact on the operational and tenant satisfaction bottom line of a building when comparing energy efficiency and savings.

Building owners care a lot about the costs of running a building. If these state of the art concepts and technologies can significantly reduce operating costs, why not exploit that fact? These details should be included in the overall strategy when cost-justifying the retrofitting of existing buildings. It makes sense to look at every aspect of these intelligent and smart buildings. Go through the front door with energy efficiency but, by no means stop there; operational efficiency and tenant satisfaction will round out the complete justification for making smart building investments.

One small, yet interesting example of this approach would be the management of fire extinguishers. Despite more technology in an iPhone than we had on the first space launch, we continue each month to walk every square foot of our buildings in search of a fire extinguisher with a small paper card attached and a hole to punch. With some pretty basic smart building technology, we can connect those fire extinguishers to a network and monitor them in real time, with almost no future financial investment. This also has a good sustainability aspect, as we are not using natural resources to transport humans in their search for cards to punch.

Another area relevant to smart building technology with a very fast payback is digital signage. Despite the fact that the hardware and technology costs have become very competitive, we continue to rely on analog solutions to communicate information in our lobbies. If you look at the cost and process, with multiple people and methods of getting a tenant’s name up on a lobby sign, it is a very inefficient way to communicate tenant information. In addition to a simple tenant directory, digital signage can also offer advertising (potential revenues), and fire life safety information in the event of an emergency.

Many different areas of a building’s operations would benefit greatly from automation: HVAC, lighting, security/access, energy, fire/life/safety, lifts, water management, landscaping/irrigation, audio visual, digital signage, parking, voice/data and more.

If we truly want to take our buildings to the next level of sophistication and take advantage of all available technologies, then start thinking of the three categories that make a smart building–energy efficiency and conservation, operational efficiency, tenant safety and satisfaction. If we include all of these categories in our financial justification models, it becomes a much easier decision to retrofit and move our buildings into the 21st century.

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Create Distinctive Kitchen Undercabinet Lighting To Combine Unexpected Warmth And Energy Efficiency

Every residential architect knows that each home design requires a carefully planned kitchen, and every kitchen will need cabinets with lights. Countertop areas underneath display cabinets are very important. They serve both a decorative function as well as a practical purpose. Shadows underneath cabinets are both unattractive, and they can also make working with knives and other kitchen implements unsafe if visibility is obscured too much.

It is necessary for the architect to plan ahead to eliminate these dark areas with kitchen undercabinet lights that will fulfill both the functional and aesthetic demands of kitchen design. Architects should consider fixtures more sophisticated than generic puck lights and outdated fluorescent lights once promoted as energy savers.

When it comes to installing kitchen undercabinet lighting, it works to the benefit of all parties involved in the home building market to use the most robust engineering and undercabinet lighting manufacturing design available. This will combine the intentions of an artist with the precision of a scientist.

Cabinet lighting strips are now much smaller than the generic types of competing fixtures available to architects and builders. They are easy to conceal beneath the forward undersurface of even the most ornate and custom cabinetry. Special glare shields in the linear strips direct the light backward away from the eyes. This minimizes reflective glare and creates a more even distribution of light under the kitchen cabinet. Dimmer controls allow the homeowner to make further adjustments, literally fine tuning illumination over countertops to match that of general lighting in the room. This makes for superior aesthetic qualities and more comfortable environment for food preparation, parties, and other special hosted gatherings.

New custom kitchen undercabinet light fixtures use LED bulbs to generate color temperatures capable of aesthetically complimenting the wide range of granite and marble countertops frequently found in custom home kitchens. A newly introduced 2800K led festoon has been specifically designed to mimic xenon as a compliment to the warmest of color tones and backsplashes. LED lamps at 2950K are designed to emulate warm white lighting common in more contemporary style kitchens.

The energy saving value of LED technology cannot be emphasized enough. LED undercabinet lights are 60 percent more energy efficient than xenon equivalents, and the staggering lamp life of up to 50,000 bulb hours makes replacements very rare. If a replacement is necessary, a single festoon lamp can be purchased to replace the one that has failed. It is never necessary to purchase a new undercabinet lighting fixture when you design your kitchen lighting with festoon based LED lighting strips.

LED kitchen undercabinet lights also help contribute to reduced cooling costs. Many people prefer to leave these lights on to provide low level night lighting in the kitchen. A hot burning light source will trigger the thermostat to activate the HVAC system, driving up power bills in the process. However, LED bulbs are cool light sources that produce luminance through an electrical current rather than the ignition of a contained gas. The forward throw heat is so negligible it has no impact on room temperature readings.

For applications that specifically call for an architect to use kitchen cabinet or undercabinet lighting in the cooler 5000K color temperature range, LED Festoon lamps are now available. The cooler color temperature lamps also provide higher lumen output, thus brighter light.

As lighting technology continues to advance, more exciting choices are becoming available to enhance the beauty and energy efficiency of homes worldwide.

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Ensure Energy Efficiency In Your Home By Getting A Home Energy Assessment

Home energy assessment refers to the process of inspection, survey and estimation of the flow of energy in a particular building. This activity is carried out with the intent to reduce the amount of energy consumed in a building. Special emphasis is given to the fact that the resultant solution does not cause any negative effect on the output energy.

The process of energy audit is done by a professional, who surveys the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning or HVAC system of a residence. Advanced equipment like infrared cameras and blower doors are utilized to determine the appropriate solution for an effective heating and cooling of the house. Such services can be easily availed from an expert heating contractor. Their professionals carry out a thorough inspection of the entire building, beginning with the walls, ceilings & floors to doors, windows and skylights. While carrying out the process of surveying, all the places of leakage and points of infiltration of air are taken into consideration. The audit also takes into account the physical condition and efficiency of the various mechanical systems of the house. These may include the heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment.

The assessment is made while keeping in mind factors like the local climate, roof overhang, solar orientation and the energy consumption of the house like electricity, natural gas or other energy sources. Apart from surveying the heating, cooling and ventilation systems of a premise, there are other factors that these experts take into account. These include the size of the premise where the system is to be installed, the age of the building and the renovation done to the same. Size of the premise matters a lot, as a large air conditioner will be unable to efficiently dehumidify the air, whereas a small HVAC system will be ineffective in creating comfortable conditions inside the premises. Based on such findings a heating contractor suggests remedial solutions to improve the energy consumption of the building, without making a compromise on the energy output.

The solutions offered by these experts also include Westchester heating services like furnace installation, boilers, radiant flooring, heat pumps and hybrid heat systems & geothermal systems. The cooling solutions, on the other hand, include installation of efficient and effective central air conditioning system together with cooling equipment. Maintenance and load calculations also form a part of the cooling solutions. Additionally, the cooling solutions are constituted by air filtration & humidification service and the ultraviolet light system.

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Energy Efficiency Building Materials

If you are looking for ways to increase your energy efficiency, why not check out the Energy Efficiency tab under energymap.dk? This web site is devoted to energy efficiency in all its forms. This particular page of the Energy Map site talks all about energy efficiency and provides ways to provide more energy efficient buildings. There are list of things such as low energy materials, circulator pumps, building materials, metering and power control, low energy water supply and other energy efficiency technologies. By clicking the links you will be directed to case studies, solutions and projects that will also allow for more efficient energy technology.

One of these afore mentioned items are low energy buildings. By clicking on this particular link it leads to a page that discusses low energy buildings and features the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy. It also features Seven Aarhus Statements on these buildings which is the featured solution for low energy building. If you click on the low energy water supply, you will find out that there are many different solutions for a low energy water supply and this area has a lot of research and development into this particular problem.

The profiles that are on this page and features are the Danish Energy Agency and the featured solutions for this problem fall under Dong Energy. Now for renewable energy and other energy sources, there is one featured profile of the Sauer Roldskov Law Firm. This firm provides specialized legal services that serve clients that operate under the sections of renewable energy and cleantec for two examples. The featured solution is HVAC and Food and Beverage. They offer solutions for HVAC applications and this is a full year experience for advanced drive technology for the HVAC applications.

Another solution that is found on this site deals with energy efficiency building materials. There are several technologies for dealing with building materials. As you well may know, Denmark leads the world in energy efficient building and using existing technology to allow for a great deal of energy savings by renovating a building with Co2 neutral materials. The featured profile is owned Climate Consortium Denmark.

Money Saving Ideas Better Energy Efficiency For Your Home

The big-city housing crunch that has long since been a financial issue to many homeowners is made more of a burden with the economic turmoil that hit not only New York and the US but the entire world as well. Now, more than ever is the best time to be looking for effective ways to save money and one of the smartest moves is cutting back on the area which eats a good part of your monthly income and that is the energy bill of your NYC home. This article looks into great ideas to achieve better efficiency for your home which are practical whether you are in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, or Manhattan.

Here are top ideas in making just any home more energy efficient and lower monthly energy bills:

Lighting

Being one of the most basic of elements that makes a house livable, many lighting fixtures are needed to make just any room more ambient as well as functional. With lighting, saving energy can be carried through in many ways including:

. Maximize use of natural lighting and lessen the use of electricity during day time
. The replacement of current set of lighting fixtures with energy-efficient models that uses up less electricity for the same brightness given off
. Amplifying the effects of lights by using mirrors and other reflective items in the design of the room
. Making use of lighting controls that prevents unnecessary use of lights

Ensure Proper Sealing and Enough Insulation

Leaks are silent killers that prey on your heating and cooling without you knowing. This results to the escape of heat or cool that should be maintaining the comfort inside the house. And before you spot it, your bills have already ballooned. You can have a contractor inspect your house for possible leaks and remedies should be done as needed.

Making your HVAC systems work harder than they normally do results to lower operation costs and thus lower figure on the energy bill. Other than this benefit, a well insulated and sealed home promotes optimal indoor comfort as well as an increase in the overall value. But one pitfall that many homeowners fall into is believing that the only areas in the house needing insulation are the attic and exterior walls. To ensure enough insulation, extend your efforts to kneewalls, adjoining walls from one room to another, basement walls, floors, overhangs, and ceiling especially below unheated spaces.

Energy-Saving Appliances and Systems

Though the initial cost of buying energy efficient appliances may be huge, the products would sure prove more valuable than the original price they cost. With these models, the comfort and functionality that is enjoyed in the house can still be maintained and even be enhanced without much consuming much energy. When shopping, choose those labeled with Energy Star.

Use Renewable Energy

Using natural resources to power some functions in your home can be one of the best ways to achieve energy efficiency. Technological advancements have paved way to integrate the use of solar heat, wind, or geothermal energy to power homes. These are often stored and converted to electricity or utilized to heat liquid fuels or heat water.

Best Destin Hvac Stimulus Bill Incentive For Energy Efficiency

We are all holding our breath as Washington borrows billions of dollars to get the economy back on track. How can the Stimulus Bill help you as a homeowner? One of the ways involves incentives available for upgrading to an Energy Star rated heat pump, air conditioner, water heater or gas furnace. A new Energy Star, green HVAC Heating and HVAC Air Conditioning System can qualify for up to $1500 in tax credits for these upgrades. In some cases local utility companies add another rebate above that. Not only do you save on the purchase, but the energy savings can be as much as 45% over your current outdated inefficient system. This is fabulous if you are ready to upgrade for energy saving and efficiency.
There are a few other energy ideas to consider. Topping the list of consideration should be an energy audit. If you suspect that you have areas of heat loss in your home, it might be a good idea to have an energy audit done. Local HVAC Air Conditioning and HVAC Heating Contractors can do this. You might also contact your local utility company for recommendations of energy measurement and conservation. Be sure you check out your insulation. The US Department of Energy website helps you determine what amount of insulation (R-Value) is recommended for your zipcode. Insulation gives seasonal comfort for all seasons and is a very important factor in energy savings. How old are your appliances? The Energy Star logo now appears on everything from light bulbs to water heaters and furnaces to ceiling fans. If you are near the end of life on your HVAC System, do yourself a favor and checkout a new Energy Star System. The choices we can make for energy efficiency are increasing constantly. A few simple solutions to increase your energy efficiency are plugging small holes in the house that let heat out or cold in. A can of expanding foam insulation, available at all building supply and hardware stores, works great for filling holes where pipes, dryer vents, telephone, cable and electrical conduits enter your home. Foam insulating inserts can be placed under your receptacle and switch plates, especially on exterior walls. You might be amazed at how much energy escapes through these openings. Weatherstripping doors and windows is another inexpensive solution to energy loss. In regards to your home, age can be painful! If your house was built before 1970, it could be consuming twice as much energy through loss as its newer counterpart.
As a homeowner you have several potential benefits to consider in light of the Stimulus Bill. The benefits are as diverse as home siding, upgraded doors and windows, HVAC heating and HVAC cooling, water heaters and heat pumps. You can expect some pretty competitive advertising from dealers as they fight over consumers. That is not such a bad thing as competition for your home improvement can cause healthy pricing benefits!