Capitol Hill

Seeking reform

NRCA seeks reform to an existing tax incentive designed to encourage the adoption of energy-efficient commercial roofing technology. This reform would help spur job growth in the construction industry, where the unemployment level remains well above the national rate.

An insufficient incentive

The incentive, "Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction" (Internal Revenue Code Section 179D), originally was enacted in 2005 to encourage commercial building owners to upgrade their lighting, HVAC and building envelope systems using more energy-efficient technology and materials.

As originally enacted, taxpayers were allowed deductions against their annual incomes of $1.80 per square foot if the building energy savings exceeded ASHRAE 90.1-2001, "Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings," efficiency levels by 50 percent. Originally, a partial credit of 60 cents was allowed for a 16 2/3 percent reduction above the ASHRAE standard for each of the three building subsystems.