Few business owners would argue that green building practices are ethically the right step and will prove to be cost effective in the coming years. However, funding a green building project up-front can prove to be a challenge for many entrepreneurs and small to mid-size companies.
Consider the following funding options for your green building project:
- Research grant opportunities. Grants for green projects are available at both the state and federal levels. The Department of Energy, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Veteran’s Affairs and the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development branch make funds available to both business owners and homeowners. The Environmental Protection Agency also has a list of funding sources for homeowners, industry and non-profit organizations. Grants.gov and mrsc.org are additional grant-finding resources.
- Rebates from the local utility company. Utility companies often offer rebates on energy conservation and green building projects. There is also a host of rebate programs available through Xcel Energy that can defray costs for energy conservation efforts.
- Energy Efficient Mortgages. If you are taking out a mortgage on your business property, ask about an energy improvement mortgage. This special lending arrangement allows you to borrow a larger amount of money to fund green improvements, without having to increase your down payment.
- Federal Tax Credits. Similar to homeowners, business owners can get tax credit for qualifying energy-saving purchases, including air conditioners, furnaces or construction materials. The Business Energy Investment Tax Credit, is the corporate tax credit enacted in 2013 and provides up to 30% tax rebate for solar and wind and PTC renewable technologies.
- State and Local Tax Credits. States and local municipalities often provide incentives for business owners to build green. In Colorado there are many opportunities with the Governor’s Office of Energy Management as well as other organizations.
Don’t let cost of renewable energy prevent you from building green. Investing in renewable energy will save your business money over time and leave less of an environmental footprint.